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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 May 10 - 16  > Post-typhoon reconstruction in Okinawa delayed by US live-fire drills
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2017 May 10 - 16 [US FORCES]

Post-typhoon reconstruction in Okinawa delayed by US live-fire drills

May 16, 2017
Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Akamine Seiken on May 15 urged the Defense Ministry’s local bureau in Okinawa to request the U.S. military to halt live-fire drills so that the prefecture can finish its post-typhoon reconstruction work.

In Okinawa’s Tonaki Village on Tonaki Island, the island’s main breakwater was damaged by a typhoon in August 2015. The repair work was supposed to be completed in June this year. However, the work was delayed by U.S. live-fire drills near the damaged sea wall.

The breakwater in question is located in the U.S. live-fire practice range. As the U.S. military holds the drills from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday, the prefectural government can carry out repairs only on Sundays.

JCP member of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly Higa Mizuki who accompanied Akamine said that the restoration of the breakwater is a pressing task in order to protect the sole harbor on the island which is situated on a frequent typhoon path. JCP Akamine stressed that the post-typhoon reconstruction should have priority over U.S. military training exercises.

A defense bureau official in reply admitted to the fact that the U.S. military drills have obstructed the reconstruction work and said that the bureau will negotiate with the U.S. forces so as to have the breakwater restored before Okinawa’s typhoon season starts in August.

The Okinawa Prefectural government has also made petition to the bureau on this matter.
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