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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 July 30 - August 12  > US Forces to start Osprey flight training in eastern Japan
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2014 July 30 - August 12 [US FORCES]

US Forces to start Osprey flight training in eastern Japan

August 5, 2014
The U.S. Forces Japan on July 31 unilaterally announced to Japan’s Defense Ministry that the U.S. Marine Corps will conduct a flight training exercise of MV-22 Osprey aircraft at its maneuvering grounds near Mt. Fuji in mid-August.

The exercises, scheduled for August 19-22, will be the first held in eastern Japan involving MV-22s. The U.S. Forces will carry out flight training drills under severe conditions, such as Osprey flight training in mountainous areas with heavy turbulence, and take-off and landing practices without using runways or helipads.

The U.S. military will use its Atsugi naval base (Kanagawa Pref.) as a supply base for Ospreys participating in training drills on mainland Japan.

The Atsugi base is home to the Fleet Readiness Center Western Pacific (FRCWP) which is capable of repairing and maintaining all kinds of aircraft of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. It is the only U.S. base with such a capability outside the U.S. mainland.

Kawano Koji of a Kanagawa residents group against the U.S. Atsugi base said that if the base is used as a supply base for the defective Osprey’s training exercises, it will increase noise pollution and the risk of crashes.

Shimizu Yutaka, a member of a local group calling for the removal of the training ground from Mt. Fuji said that he was shocked and outraged to learn of the sudden and unilateral announcement of the Osprey training without prior consultation. He expressed his intention to protest against the drills by participating in rallies and monitoring activities.


The Japanese Communist Party Yamanashi Prefectural Committee on August 4 visited the prefectural government office to petition Governor Yokouchi Shomei to call on the central government and the U.S. Forces to cancel the planned Osprey flight training.

In the petition, the JCP pointed out that the planned drills will cause noise pollution and entail a risk of crashing near residential and tourist areas near Mt. Fuji.

JCP prefectural assembly member Kogoshi Tomoko stressed that the governor should object to Osprey’s flight training exercises at the designated World Heritage site of Mt. Fuji.

A prefecture official in response said, “I will convey your message to the governor.”

On the following day, peace organizations in Kanagawa Prefecture and the JCP local committee submitted to the U.S. Atsugi base a written petition calling on the U.S. military to refrain from using the base as a supply base for Ospreys’ training exercises.
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