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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 October 30 - November 5  > Okinawa: Abe gov’t should urge US military to stop holding parachute drills at Kadena AB
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2019 October 30 - November 5 [POLITICS]

Okinawa: Abe gov’t should urge US military to stop holding parachute drills at Kadena AB

October 31, 2019

Okinawa Vice Governor Jahana Kiichiro on October 30 summoned the Defense Ministry’s local bureau head and the Foreign Ministry ambassador in charge of Okinawa affairs to the prefectural government office and lodged a protest against parachute drills which the U.S. military forcibly held on the previous night at the U.S. Kadena Air Base.

Jahana also demanded that the Japanese government urge the U.S. forces not to carry out parachute training exercises at the base as agreed upon in the Japan-U.S. Special Action Committee (SACO) in 1996.

In addition to the latest one, parachute landing drills have taken place at the Kadena base three times this year. However, the 1996 SACO agreement determined that parachute landing drills should be held at the USMC auxiliary airfield on Ie Island in Okinawa. Under the bilateral agreement, the use of the Kadena base for these training exercises is allowed only as an exception if the weather is bad on the island.

Regarding the training on October 29, the U.S. military insisted that it used the Kadena base due to bad weather in Ie island. It, however, performed parachuting drills also at the Iejima auxiliary airfield on the same day.

In the meeting with the Okinawa vice governor, Okinawa Defense Bureau head Tanaka Toshinori and the Foreign Ministry’s Ambassador Kawamura Hiroshi said that they do not recognize the U.S. military’s parachuting drill on October 29 as an exception. They added that the Japanese government intends to discuss this issue with the U.S government.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Forces in Japan Headquarters on October 30 issued a statement stating that the drills at the Kadena base fully complied with the SACO agreement.


In the parachuting drills which the U.S. military held on October 29 and 30 at the USMC auxiliary airfield, three U.S. soldiers, who were believed hampered by strong winds, accidentally landed on private land near the airfield.

Past related article:
> US forces imposes further base burdens on Okinawans in violation of SACO agreement [July 28&31, 2017]
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