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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 March 5 - 11  > JCP lawmaker offers to cooperate in struggle to block U.S. NLP facility on southern island
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2008 March 5 - 11 [US FORCES]

JCP lawmaker offers to cooperate in struggle to block U.S. NLP facility on southern island

March 11, 2008
Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Akamine Seiken on March 10 visited an uninhabited island in southern Japan where U.S. forces are reportedly planning to construct a facility for night-landing practice (NLP) and nighttime touch-and-go training exercises by U.S. carrier-borne aircraft.

Rumors began to surface about a year ago that Mageshima Island, which is part of Nishinoomote City, Kagoshima Prefecture, had been chosen as a possible site for constructing an NLP facility serving U.S. carried-borne aircraft to be deployed to the U.S. Marine Corps Iwakuni Air Station. The aircraft are currently deployed at the U.S. Atsugi Naval Air Station near Tokyo and are carrying out NLPs on Iwojima Island.

Mageshima is considered a more convenient NLP training site because it is closer to the Iwakuni base (the distance between Iwakuni and Mageshima Island is about 400 kilometers, while Iwojima Island is more than 1000 kilometers from Atsugi).

Nishinoomote City Mayor Nagano Chikara told Akamine that all four heads of municipalities near Mageshima Island are opposed to allowing the island to be used for NLPs by U.S. forces.

Expressing concerns about damage from possible accidents and noise pollution that could have an adverse effect on tourism, agriculture, and forestry in the surrounding municipalities, the mayor promised to do his utmost to foil the construction plan.

Presenting the mayor with NLP-related documents, Akamine said that the JCP is ready to cooperate with the local efforts to prevent the NLP facility construction proposal.

Mageshima Island is mostly owned by a developer who indicated readiness to accept the NLP facility construction.

Nishinoomote citizens are planning to establish an association to block the construction of a U.S. military facility on Mageshima Island.

Akamine met and discussed the plan with eight Nishinoomote residents, including some who are calling for the founding of the association.
- Akahata, March 11, 2008
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