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U.S. forces hostile to residents' complaints about U.S. aircraft noise
Akahata editorials (excerpts)
Okinawa City Mayor Tomon Mitsuko recently criticized the U.S. Kadena Air Base for violating "a flight ban in the early morning and late at night prescribed in a Japan U.S. agreement on noise prevention."
In response to the complaint, the U.S. Kadena Air Base public affairs sent Okinawa City a letter arguing that the city's source of the information is not trustworthy.
It is outrageous for the U.S. forces, which inflict the sufferings, to take a hostile view on the mayor's remark representing the indignation of the residents. The U.S. Forces in Japan now display a sense of entitlement in pushing ahead with their military realignment plan.
The Kadena base authorities claimed that they have made early-morning take-offs only once in the past few months.
However, the aircraft noise levels measured by Okinawa City near the Kadena base show that U.S. aircraft repeatedly fly late at night and in the early morning (between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.).
"Without ear plugs, I can't sleep," said one resident. It is extremely irresponsible for the U.S. Forces to claim that early-morning take-offs have been conducted only once, ignoring this suffering.
The Japan-U.S. agreement on aircraft noise prevention itself is a factor that allows such U.S. arrogance.
The agreement stipulates that flights in the early morning and at night are limited to ones that are believed to be necessary for performing U.S. operations. This in fact gives tacit approval to early-morning and midnight flights when the U.S. Forces regard them to be necessary.
In the face of the realities of noise pollution caused by U.S. aircraft, the Japanese government keeps saying that the agreement "is observed" (Director-General of the Foreign Ministry North American Affair's Bureau Kawai Chikao, June 6), taking a supportive attitude towards the U.S. highhandedness.
The U.S. military realignment will turn Japan into a permanent stronghold for U.S. preemptive wars as the U.S. Air Force in Japan will increase its flight exercises, and noise pollution will inevitably be intensified.
- Akahata, June 10, 2006
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