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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 July 11 - 17  > JCP candidate in Tokyo calls for removal of U.S. Yokota base
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2007 July 11 - 17 [JCP]

JCP candidate in Tokyo calls for removal of U.S. Yokota base

July 10, 2007
Tamura Tomoko, the Japanese Communist Party candidate for the House of Councilors in the Tokyo constituency, on July 9 published an appeal in opposition to the realignment and the strengthening the functions of the U.S. Yokota Air Base in Tokyo and adverse revision of Article 9.

Closely connected with moves towards constitutional revision, the planned realignment of U.S. forces in Japan is being forcibly implemented at Yokota and other U.S. bases in the metropolitan area, where U.S. bases are most concentrated after Okinawa.

Tamura stated, “I will oppose strengthening base functions and perpetuating the presence of U.S. bases, defend Article 9, and make every effort to remove U.S. bases.”

Pointing out that Japan is the only country in the world allowing the presence of foreign bases in its capital, Tamura in her appeal raised three questions that need to be taken up in this House of Councilors election: Whether or not this extraordinary situation is allowed to continue; whether or not those U.S. bases are allowed to be used as a stronghold to attack and command in U.S. wars; whether or not Article 9 is allowed to be adversely revised so as to turn Japan into a nation fighting wars abroad.

Regarding the first question, Tamura pointed out that because of Yokota AB’s exclusive use of a large amount of airspace over Tokyo, civil aviation is constantly faced with danger, and that Japan paid a “sympathy budget,” which is not required by any international agreements, of 318.5 billion yen for the Yokota AB alone in the past 26 years.

“In order to put an end to the policies subservient to the U.S. and remove U.S. bases, it is necessary for Japan to replace the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty with a friendship treaty between the two countries and to establish an independent peace diplomacy,” stated Tamura.

On the second question, Tamura drew attention to the fact that the headquarters of the U.S. forces in Japan is stationed at the Yokota AB and that Yokota-based units have been sent to Iraq at least four times. With the establishment of a Japan-U.S. joint command at Yokota as part of the planned realignment, she added, the Self-Defense Forces will be more tightly integrated with the U.S. forces so that the SDF may be able to join the U.S. in wars abroad.

Pointing out that those moves are increasing danger and noise pollution, Tamura promised voters to make efforts to block the implementation of the realignment plan and to create a Tokyo with no military bases.

She stated that the realignment and reinforcement of U.S. bases as well as constitutional revision are mainly aimed at enabling Japan to take part in U.S. preemptive wars, a policy that runs counter to the world move from military buildup to dialogue and cooperation to peacefully settle international disputes.
- Akahata, July 10, 2007
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