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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 February 22 - 28  > US Osprey flights threaten endangered birds in Japan
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2017 February 22 - 28 [US FORCES]

US Osprey flights threaten endangered birds in Japan

February 24, 2017
The representative of Japan’s major alpinists’ organization in a contribution to Akahata dated February 24 said that the U.S. military should not conduct flight drills of Osprey aircraft over mountains in Japan because these drills will threaten the survival of the golden eagle, hawk eagle, and other bird species on the endangered list.

Urazoe Yoshinori is the head of the Japan Workers’ Alpine Federation which has a history of more than 50 years and a membership of around 25,000.

Urazoe said that the U.S. military intends to carry out flight training exercises involving Osprey aircraft across Japan. He pointed out that the planned flight routes cover 21 of the country’s 47 prefectures as well as a wide area of mountains that include national parks.

Under the flight routes, the veteran mountaineer stressed, there are natural habitats of endangered birds such as the golden eagle, hawk eagle, and snow grouse. The extremely excessive noise and strong turbulence from Ospreys could wipe out these birds, Urazoe warned.

The JWAF chief referred to the fact that in the U.S., the U.S. military was forced to give up conducting flight exercises over mountains stretching between the states of New Mexico and Colorado as it faced opposition from local residents and environmental groups who pointed to possible damage to wildlife in the areas.

He said that Osprey flight drills in Japan are also provoking opposition from local municipalities and conservation groups. Urazoe said that it is unacceptable for the U.S. military to use the mountainous terrain in Japan to carry out flight exercises.

Urazoe noted that his organization in 2012 petitioned the Environment Ministry to work for the cancellation of Osprey flight training exercises. He said that the JWAF will keep protesting against the flight drills in order to protect the natural environment and biodiversity of mountain areas in Japan.
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