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JCP revelation provokes angry reactions to DFAA e-mail

A revelation by a Japanese Communist Party Dietmember of the government's pressure on local assemblies to block their opposition to U.S. forces realignment has produced various reactions.

JCP House of Councilors member Inoue Satoshi on February 1 revealed in the Diet that the Defense Facilities Administration Agency (DFAA) has pressured local assemblies concerned to not adopt resolutions opposing the plan to realign U.S. forces in Japan.

Imai Mitsuru, the assembly chair of Sagamihara City in Kanagawa Prefecture where U.S. Camp Zama is located, stated that local assemblies have a legal right to submit a statement based on their own decisions and responsibility. He added that if Inoue's disclosure was a fact, it amounts to the government's unjustifiable interference in local assemblies.

Nakazato Tatsuo representing a group of residents living near Camp Zama criticized the DFAA for insulting the integrity of local assemblies and residents. He said that Inoue's revelation has greatly encouraged the residents struggling with local governments in opposition to strengthening of U.S. bases.

In contrast with national newspapers keeping quiet about this issue, local papers in Kanagawa and Okinawa prefectures that host many U.S. bases publish extensive analyses on February 2 in regard to Inoue's Diet revelation.

Quoting the full text of the e-mail, "Okinawa Times" stated, "It included an indication that there was an instruction given by the DFAA head. The government's attitude that can be considered as 'pressure (Inoue)' is expected to create a stir." It also reported that some of the people concerned acknowledged the existence of the e-mail in response to its interview.

Okinawa's "Ryuku Shimpo" reported Inoue's remarks: "While promising that it will keep local municipalities informed, what the government is actually doing is putting pressure on them to block their free expression of opinions. This must not be allowed."
-Akahata, February 3, 2006

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