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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 April 2 - 8  > Residents’ efforts win return of US base sites
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2014 April 2 - 8 [US FORCES]

Residents’ efforts win return of US base sites

April 6, 2014
Pushed by local demand, the U.S. Forces recently set the date it will return to Japan the areas utilized by its two military facilities in Yokohama City.

The two facilities are the Fukaya Communication Site (773,747 square meters) and the Kamiseya Communication Station (2,422,369 square meters). The site of Fukaya is to be returned by the end of this coming June and that of Kamiseya by the end of June next year.

The Japanese and U.S. governments had already agreed on the reversion in 2004, but they did not give a definitive time for reversion.

The restoration was brought about by long-standing public movements, including the Japanese Communist Party.

In the early 1990s, the U.S. military authorities started to remove the communication antennas of the Kamiseya base and the facility virtually became idle. In 1995, however, a plan came up to build housing units at the site for U.S. personnel and their families.

Residents living near the base formed in 1996 a group to call for the return of the site. Meanwhile, land owners of the base filed a lawsuit against the two governments, seeking the reversion.

In a bid to call for a wide range of people to support the movement, the civic group and labor unions have jointly held a “peace festival” since 1999. They held the 10th festival this year.

Takahashi Katsuya, representing the civil organization, said, “Many citizens want to use the facility site for something like a natural energy-related project. We will continue working to achieve the restoration as early as possible.”

Past related article:
> Citizens’ organization urges defense bureau to return U.S. Naval facility site [November 7, 2008]
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