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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 October 3 - 9  > Citizens’ group protests U.S. Marines live ammunition exercises in Yausubetsu
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2007 October 3 - 9 [US FORCES]

Citizens’ group protests U.S. Marines live ammunition exercises in Yausubetsu

October 3, 2007
In the eastern Hokkaido city of Kushiro, a local citizens’ group opposing the U.S. Marine Corps training exercises on October 2 held a meeting to report their actions to monitor the live-fire artillery exercises at nearby Ground Self-Defense Force Yausubetsu Training Range.

The Marines unit conducted the live-fire training exercises using 155-mm howitzers, the ninth round of such trainings in Yausubetsu, between September 18 and 27 non-stop. The activists monitoring the training counted 913 firings, including 190 at night.

Compared to other training exercises conducted by the Marines, this one was at the top in terms of length of the period of exercises, the total number of shells fired, and the number of shells fired at night.

Japanese Communist Party Kushiro City Assembly member Ishikawa Akemi stressed the significance of such protest actions, saying, “It is residents’ actions that will stop the national and Hokkaido governments accepting the exercises.”

Miyamoto Hiroaki, the citizens’ group representative, criticized the Japanese and the U.S. governments for not notifying local communities of the training schedules in advance. “The U.S. Marines are in Kushiro City today, but there was no notification until just before they arrived.”

This group was patrolling the downtown area to keep an eye on the U.S. Marines so that they would not harm residents.
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