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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 January 9 - 15  > Hiroshima demands that U.S. forces stop low-altitude flight exercises
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2008 January 9 - 15 [US FORCES]

Hiroshima demands that U.S. forces stop low-altitude flight exercises

January 13, 2008
The government on January 11, in reply to a written question submitted by Japanese Communist Party House of Councilors member Nihi Sohei, confirmed that aircraft that flew at low-altitudes causing terrible noise pollution over densely populated areas in Hiroshima and Kure cities in Hiroshima Prefecture on December 7, 2007 were U.S. military jets.

Eyewitnesses said that aircraft flying over Hiroshima City was EA-6B electronic warfare aircraft and those flying over Kure City were four FA-18 fighters.

The United States has informed Japan that U.S. military aircraft passed over Hiroshima City and Kure City “at an altitude of more than 1,500 feet (457 meters),” according to the government.

The government, however, refused to disclose the name of the unit to which those aircraft are assigned, the type and number of aircraft, and the purpose of the flights, stating that the government does not have such information since it concerns operations of the U.S. forces.

Hiroshima Governor Fujita Yuzan and Hiroshima Mayor Akiba Tadatoshi on January 11 sent statements of protest to Commander of U.S. Forces Japan Bruce Wright and U.S. Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer. The statements indicated that many residents filed complaints against the low-altitude flights over Hiroshima City’s central area conducted in disregard of the 1999 Japan-U.S. agreement that requires due consideration in doing such exercises.

The two local government heads also sent statements to Foreign Minister Komura Masahiko and Defense Minister Ishiba Shigeru urging the government to request the U.S. forces to disclose details of low-altitude flight exercises and to discontinue such exercises.
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