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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 August 22 - 28  > Ospreys will be officially deployed to US Yokota base in Tokyo in October
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2018 August 22 - 28 TOP3 [US FORCES]

Ospreys will be officially deployed to US Yokota base in Tokyo in October

August 23 and 24, 2018
Japan’s Defense Ministry on August 22 announced that five U.S. CV-22 Ospreys will be deployed to the U.S. Yokota Air Base in suburban Tokyo in October.

This will be the first-ever deployment of U.S. Ospreys to the Japanese mainland. A total of ten CV-22s will be stationed at the Yokota AB by 2024.

In response to the announcement, Tokyo-elected Japanese Communist Party Dietmembers and Tokyo metropolitan assemblypersons on the day met with officials of the Defense and Foreign ministries in the Dietmembers’ office building and demanded the cancellation of the Osprey deployment. Those who participated in the protest were JCP parliamentarians Kasai Akira (LH), Miyamoto Toru (LH), Kira Yoshiko (UH), and Yamazoe Taku (UH) as well as JCP Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly member Tokutome Michinobu and JCP members of base-hosting municipal assemblies.

The JCP lawmakers said that CV-22s are already conducting night-time flight drills above residential areas near the Yokota base day after day even before their official deployment. They stressed that the deployment is unacceptable.

Miyamoto noted the fact that the U.S. military in Japan enjoys the privilege of exemption from aviation safety rules and carries out flight training exercises that are illegal in Japan. He said that the National Governors’ Association in July issued a proposal calling for revisions in the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement, including the application of the Aviation Law to the U.S. military. Miyamoto said, “The government should not let the U.S. military do anything it wants in Japan. It must oppose the Osprey deployment to the Yokota base.”

* * *

The Peace Committee in Hamura City, one of the Yokota AB-hosting municipalities, has found that since a U.S. CV-22 Osprey in April flew to the Yokota base for the first time, the number of takeoffs and landings made by Ospreys at the base reached 313 as of August 22. Most of the takeoffs and landings occurred in the evening, often after 9 p.m.

Past related articles:
> US Forces in Japan conduct parachute drills in populated areas in contrast to parachute training in US [April 25, 2018]
> JCP urges gov’t not to allow Osprey deployment to US Yokota base [April 5, 2018]
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