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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 April 30 - May 13  > B-52 demo flight cancelled
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2008 April 30 - May 13 [US FORCES]

B-52 demo flight cancelled

May 2, 2008
A demo flight of B-52 strategic bombers at an air show scheduled for May 5 at the U.S. Iwakuni Air Station in Yamaguchi Prefecture, near Hiroshima, was cancelled due to public criticism.

On May 1, the Foreign Ministry told Akahata that it had been informed by the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo on April 31 that the B-52 bombers will not come to Japan “due to operational reasons.”

The Japanese Communist Party as well as atomic bomb survivors (Hibakusha) had been demanding that the plan to use B-52s in the May 5 air show be cancelled.

At the April 23 House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee meeting, JCP representative Kasai Akira said, “How can Hibakusha allow nuclear-capable strategic bombers to arrogantly fly over the A-bombed city of Hiroshima?”

The Hiroshima governor, the Hiroshima City mayor, and Hiroshima’s Hatsukaichi City mayor had also made representations to U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Thomas Schieffer, U.S. Marine Corps Iwakuni Air Station Commander Michael A. O’Halloran, and Japanese Foreign Minister Komura Masahiko, requesting that the planned demo flight by B-52s be cancelled.

Yoshioka Mitsuhiko, secretary-general of a citizens’ organization opposing the U.S. Iwakuni base, said that public opposition had forced the United States on the cancellation of the B-52 demo flight. “To block the U.S. military realignment plan, we will work in solidarity with all people fighting against U.S. military bases,” he said. - Akahata, May 2, 2008
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