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HOME  > Past issues  > 2011 June 29 - July 5  > Local municipalities do not want FCLP at Mageshima Island
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2011 June 29 - July 5 [US FORCES]

Local municipalities do not want FCLP at Mageshima Island

July 3, 2011
Vice Defense Minister Ogawa Katsuya on July 2 visited Kagoshima’s Nishinoomote City in order to persuade the city mayor and the city’s three town heads to accept U.S. field carrier landing practice (FCLP) exercises on Mageshima Island.

Prior to Ogawa’s arrival, 200 local residents held a protest rally in front of the city government office. On his arrival, they surrounded his limo and shouted, “We don’t want a military base at Mageshima! Go home!”

In a meeting with the four municipal heads and assembly chairpersons, the vice minister explained that nighttime noise at western Tanegashima (12km from Mageshima Island) may reach more than 70 decibels with the FCLP exercises. He also implied a possibility of the imposition of fishing restrictions.

However, he offered various government subsidy plans in exchange for any inconvenience. This amounts to the same carrot-and-stick tactic used by the previous ruling parties.

The local authorities’ leaders told Ogawa that they are opposed to the government intention to have FCLP exercises on Mageshima Island. The protesters’ shouts of, “Hang in there, mayors!” was resounding through the city government office where the meeting between the local municipal heads and the central government official was taking place.

Yakushima Town Mayor Hidaka Tonao at the meeting said, “Yakushima, an island designated as a World Natural Heritage, has a responsibility to preserve the island’s natural environment. I cannot accept military facilities to be built near our island.”

Nishinoomote City Mayor Nagano Chikara said, “We can protect and promote the industries of farming, fishing, forestry, tourism, and commerce by our own strength. I stand firm against the central government plan. Nothing can change my mind.”
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