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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 October 3 - 9  > Symposium reveals danger of planned U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier deployment in Yokosuka
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2007 October 3 - 9 [US FORCES]

Symposium reveals danger of planned U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier deployment in Yokosuka

October 9, 2007
A symposium was held on October 8 in Yokohama City to help increase the movement against the plan to deploy a U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to the U.S. Yokosuka Navy Base located at the entrance to Tokyo Bay.

About 1,200 people from around the country attended the event that was held jointly by peace and democratic organizations in the Metropolitan area to discuss the controversial plan to replace the conventional aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk with the nuclear-powered carrier George Washington from August 19 next year.

Holding up a U.S. declassified document, Niihara Shoji, an analyst of international affairs, revealed that Japan and the United States had concluded a secret agreement to not conduct mid-air monitoring of possible radioactive contamination in areas within 50 meters from U.S. nuclear-powered vessels (see separate item).

Nomoto Tetsuo from the Kanagawa Prefectural Medical Practitioners Association, showing photos of deformed fish caught near the U.S. base, warned that the dredging to make the passage to a berth deeper by 2 meters for the G. Washington will endanger the habitat of fish.

Nihon University lecturer Noguchi Kunikazu, an expert on radiation, explained the dangers of radioactive contamination caused by accidents involving a nuclear-powered warship.

Citing parliamentary records over the past 40 years, Kasai Akira, a Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives, pointed out that the Diet initially maintained that Japan cannot agree with the deployment of nuclear-powered warships in the only atomic bombed country.

However, the government and the ruling parties betrayed this position and accepted the U.S. demand that Japan allow a U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to be homeported at Yokosuka. Such an attitude, that will put the 30 million people in the Metropolitan area at risk, should not be allowed, Kasai stressed.

Lawyer Goto Masahiko reported on Yokosuka citizens’ lawsuits against the homeporting plan and the port’s dredging. He called for a nationwide support for the planned second signature collection campaign in Yokosuka to demand that the city hold a referendum on the plan to deploy the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

Chiba Prefectural Peace Committee Secretary Kamiya Toshihiro reported that many fishermen in their association began expressing deep concerns about adverse effects that the dumping of dredged soil in the sea about 100 kilometers off Chiba will have on the fish habitat.

The symposium received many messages from people unable to attend.

Tokyo’s Miyake Village assembly member Teramoto Tsuneo (JCP) warned that soil dumping off Miyake Island will have a hazardous effect.

Yamato City Mayor Oki Satoru and Ayase City Mayor Kasama Seijiro (both in Kanagawa Prefecture) and Suzuki Tamotsu who heads an association that has filed three lawsuits demanding an end to noise pollution at the U.S. Atsugi naval air base, expressed solidarity with the Yokosuka struggle.
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