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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 January 9 - 15  > U.S. forces delay relocation of urban combat training facility in Okinawa
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2008 January 9 - 15 [US FORCES]

U.S. forces delay relocation of urban combat training facility in Okinawa

January 10, 2008
Relocation of a U.S. Army urban combat training facility in Okinawa’s U.S. Marine Corps Camp Hansen to a location within the base more distant from residential areas in Kin Town will be delayed for a year and half due to military reasons, Akahata learned on January 8.

Local residents and municipalities are strongly opposed to the delay.

The Okinawa Defense Bureau on January 4 informed Kin Town government of the delay in constructing the new training facility and explained that the U.S. forces refused to suspend the live fire exercises that they are conducting near the construction site.

The urban combat training exercises currently are conducted at the camp’s Range 4, just 300 meters away from the closest local community.

Faced with local residents’ strong protests, the Japanese and U.S. governments agreed to relocate the training facility to Range 16 on the base. Construction has been underway with a completion date of March 2008.

Okinawa Peace Committee Secretary General Okubo Yasuhiro said, “With the relocation plan, the local community stopped its protest actions. By delaying the relocation, however, the U.S. forces in effect cheated the residents. We will intensify our protest actions demanding the removal of the base, not being content with a relocation that only waters down Okinawans’ rejection of the construction of new bases.”
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