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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 December 17 - 22  > JCP in Diet demands that government urge U.S. forces to end live-fire exercise in order to protect residents from stray bullets
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2008 December 17 - 22 [US FORCES]

JCP in Diet demands that government urge U.S. forces to end live-fire exercise in order to protect residents from stray bullets

December 17, 2008
At the December 16 House of Representatives Security Committee meeting, Japanese Communist Party representative Akamine Seiken showed a bullet found in a residential area in Okinawa and called for a halt to live-fire exercises in the neighboring U.S. base since the bullet is believed to be from there.

On December 14, a bullet went through the license plate of a car in the parking space of residents’ house in Kin Town’s Igei district.

Pointing out that a resident at that time was sprinkling the parking space with water, Akamine stressed, “This is a serious threat to residents’ peaceful lives.”

Foreign Minister Nakasone Hirofumi answered that although the government requested the U.S. Embassy to direct the U.S. forces to halt the live shooting exercise until safety is assured, they did not do so because they are not sure if the bullet is indeed theirs.

Akamine also called for a removal of U.S. Camp Hansen in Kin Town, where the live-fire exercise is held.

The JCP representative asked how the government dealt with similar incidents that occurred in the past in Okinawa.

Concerning the 9 bullets found in the Igei district in 1988, a Justice Ministry official said that the case was dropped. A National Police Agency official stated that the government stopped short of determining if the U.S. forces were responsible for a bullet found in a pineapple farm in Nago City in 2002.

Akamine said that the government stance toward the U.S. government prevents preventive measures from being made full use of and urged the government to immediately investigate the latest incident.
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