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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 October 17 - 23  > U.S. parachute training at Kadena violates Japan-U.S. agreement: JCP Akamine
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2007 October 17 - 23 [US FORCES]

U.S. parachute training at Kadena violates Japan-U.S. agreement: JCP Akamine

October 20, 2007
On October 19, Japanese Communist Party House of Representatives member Akamine Seiken in a Lower House Security Committee meeting criticized the parachute training exercise that the U.S. Air Force carried out on the same day at the U.S. Kadena Air Base in Okinawa for violating a Japan-U.S. agreement.

The 1996 agreement of the Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO) in its final report stipulates that parachute training exercises may be conducted only at Iejima Auxiliary Airport in Okinawa.

Foreign Minister Komura Masahiko in reply spoke for the U.S. military by stating, “The Kadena base can be used only on an exceptional basis. The government should understand the need for the U.S. forces to maintain its readiness with its training exercises.”

“If the Japanese government really takes such a position, the base burden imposed on Okinawans will never be reduced,” Akamine stressed. Pointing out that the parachute training exercises are highly dangerous, Akamine demanded the cancellation of such exercises at the Kadena base.

The Okinawa prefectural government and residents in the area surrounding the base are strongly protesting against the U.S. parachute training exercise. Okinawa Governor Nakaima Hirokazu stated, “I consider this training exercise to be highly deplorable because it has provoked considerable anxieties among residents in the area and Okinawans as a whole.”

This is the second parachute training exercise that the U.S. force conducted at the Kadena base after the January 26 training exercise, the first one in eight years.
- Akahata, October 20, 2007
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