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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 February 27 - March 4  > JCP criticizes new Iwakuni mayor for accepting deployment of U.S. carrier-borne aircraft
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2008 February 27 - March 4 [POLITICS]

JCP criticizes new Iwakuni mayor for accepting deployment of U.S. carrier-borne aircraft

February 29, 2008
At the Iwakuni City Assembly on February 28, the Japanese Communist Party criticized the new mayor for expressing his willingness to accept the proposed relocation of a U.S. carrier air wing unit to the U.S. Marine Corps Iwakuni Air Station in Yamaguchi Prefecture from the U.S. Naval Atsugi Air Station in Kanagawa Prefecture.

Speaking on behalf of the JCP assembly members’ group, Onishi Akiko stated, “It is unacceptable for the mayor to decide to allow the U.S. military planes to be deployed to Iwakuni without listening to citizens’ opinions. The mayor must first listen to what citizens are saying,” she added.

Iwakuni Mayor Fukuda Yoshihiko won the February 10 mayoral election by a narrow margin over the opponent, the former mayor, who firmly opposed the relocation plan.

The new mayor in his policy speech made it clear that he will make an effort to receive a state grant for the construction of a new city hall, the grant which the central government denied because the former mayor opposed the U.S. military plan.

Asked in the assembly if he will say ‘No’ to the unit’s relocation even after the city receives the state grant, the mayor answered that he will not accept the plan if it becomes obvious that the relocation will damage the environment or that safety measures are inadequate.

The government has made it a rule to provide grants to local governments only on condition that they accept plans connected with the U.S. military realignment in Japan.

The new mayor’s statement at the city assembly is tantamount to accepting the relocation plan.
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