Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. is the only news agency providing information of progressive, democratic movements in Japan

Local heads reject U.S. force relocation

Foreign Minister Aso Taro on January 16 visited Yamaguchi and Hiroshima Prefectural government offices and Yamaguchi's Iwakuni City Hall, seeking local understanding of the plan to relocate the carrier-borne aircraft unit from the U.S. Atsugi Naval Facility to the U.S. Marine Corps Iwakuni Air Station.

In answer to Aso asking local heads to cooperate with the national government to carry out the relocation plan from the viewpoint of "deterrence and reducing local burdens of U.S. bases," Yamaguchi Governor Nii Sekinari said, "We cannot accept (the plan) at this point."

Nii stated that Yamaguchi Prefecture, Iwakuni City, and Yu Town resubmitted to the government some of the 33 questions they jointly compiled last December concerning the relocation plan because the government response was ambiguous.

After receiving the foreign minister at the Iwakuni City Hall with Yu Town Mayor Makimoto Toshimitsu, Iwakuni Mayor Ihara Katsusuke said that he told Aso that his city will not accept the plan forcing it to bear a heavier burden.

About 60 members of local organizations, including the Yamaguchi Federation of Trade Unions-Zenroren and the Yamaguchi Peace Committee, assembled in front of the prefectural government office to protest against Aso's visit. The Rengo (the Japanese Trade Union Confederation) Local of Yamaguchi also held a protest there with about 90 members participating.
- Akahata, January 17, 2006

Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved.