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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 January 30 - February 5  > Network formed to shut down Mt. Fuji firing range
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2013 January 30 - February 5 [SDF]

Network formed to shut down Mt. Fuji firing range

February 3 & 5, 2013

Peace and democratic groups along with workers’ unions in Yamanashi Prefecture on February 1 formed a network to jointly take actions to demand the return of a live firing range, the Self-Defense Forces Kita Fuji training site located at the foot of Mt. Fuji.

This is the birth of a movement that can struggle on a daily basis prior to the expiration of the eighth contract at the end of March which the prefectural government and the Defense Ministry have renewed every five years for the use of the site by the SDF.

At the inauguration meeting, participants confirmed their basic policy: oppose the ninth government-prefecture contract; demand full return of the training site; and make the best use of World Heritage Convention in order to restore peaceful Mt. Fuji.

In cooperation with local municipalities and residents, the activists eagerly seek to increase their network to be strong enough to pressure the prefecture to shift to work for a peaceful and arms-free Mt. Fuji.

* * *

Seven activists of the network on February 4 visited the Yamanashi prefectural government office to demand that Governor Yokouchi Shomei not renew the contract with the national government for the use of the site, half of which is prefecture-owned.

Accompanied by Japanese Communist Party candidate for the Yamanashi electoral bloc Endo Akiko and JCP member of the Yamanashi prefectural assembly Kogoshi Tomoko, they stated that the governor should make efforts to realize the return because he publicly promised to work for the gradual reduction of the training area and its use for peaceful purposes.

They protested against the Defense Ministry’s announcement that the U.S. Marines will come from Okinawa to conduct live-firing training exercises at the SDF Kita Fuji training site in January 2014 although the contract for next year has not yet been signed.

In response, a prefectural government official in charge of the training site said that he will convey their demand to the governor and that the prefecture already complained about the ministry’s announcement on the relocation of the live-firing training exercises.
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