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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 April 12 - 18  > Machida city gov’t refuses to accept statue to commemorate US crash tragedy
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2017 April 12 - 18 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Machida city gov’t refuses to accept statue to commemorate US crash tragedy

April 17, 2017
Akahata on April 17 reported that Tokyo’s Machida City government has changed its previous position under the pretext of “political neutrality” and is now reluctant to accept a statue to mourn victims of a U.S. military airplane crash 53 years ago.

In April 1964, a U.S. fighter crashed into a residential area in Machida City, a western suburb of Tokyo, immediately killing four residents, including a baby, and injuring 32 others. Even after such a tragedy, U.S. aircraft have been flying over the city, causing noise pollution.

In 2014, a rally took place to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the deadly accident and a group of local residents, who suffered from noise pollution from U.S. military airplanes, launched a campaign to set up a statue in memory of the victims.

The residents’ group collected donations and had a bronze statue of a mother and a baby completed. This story was covered by many newspapers. The group planned to present the statue to the city with the expectation that it would be installed at a public facility or a park near the accident site.

However, the Machida city government showed reluctance to accept the memorial statue, stating, “Some residents have mixed feelings,” although it had long stated since the accident, “The memory of the tragic event should not be forgotten.” The city appears to have become overly cautious about maintaining what it thinks is political neutrality.

The need is to make a fresh resolution for peace regardless of differences in political stances and in feelings towards the fatal crash five decades ago.

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