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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 February 4 - 10  > JCP Nihi urges gov’t to stop deployment of SDF Ospreys to civilian airport in Saga
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2015 February 4 - 10 [POLITICS]

JCP Nihi urges gov’t to stop deployment of SDF Ospreys to civilian airport in Saga

February 6, 2015
Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Nihi Sohei on February 5 demanded that the government drop its plan to deploy 17 Ospreys, scheduled to be attached to the Ground Self-Defense Force, to a civil airport in Saga Prefecture.

At a House Budget Committee meeting, the JCP lawmaker cited an agreement on the prevention of marine pollution that local fishermen’s associations made with the prefecture at the time of giving their consent to the construction of an airport near their fishing areas. The agreement includes a provision that prohibits the joint use of the airport with the SDF. Nihi noted that when the central government announced the deployment plan last year, the Saga City mayor expressed his intention to respect the agreement.

Defense Minister Nakatani Gen admitted that he approved the plan without knowing of the existence of the agreement.

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo said that his administration will respond to local opinions being expressed, but gave no comment on the agreement.

“It is unacceptable for the Abe government to move forward with the planned deployment of the Ospreys in defiance of Saga residents’ opinions and the existence of the agreement,” said Nihi.

Referring to the fact that the Saga governor, who defeated the candidate backed by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in the gubernatorial election last month, plans to reexamine the central government’s request for the Osprey deployment, Nihi urged Prime Minister Abe to withdraw the plan to introduce the 17 Ospreys to the SDF and the planned deployment of the aircraft to Saga Airport.

Past related articles:
> Saga City disapproves of use of Saga Airport for Ospreys [August 21, 2014]
> Gov’t plans to move US MV-22s out of Okinawa to help Governor Nakaima be reelected [July 24, 2014]
> Saga residents protest against plan to deploy Ospreys to local airport [July 23, 2014]
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