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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 March 21 - 27  > JCP Akamine demands bill to facilitate U.S. forces realignment be withdrawn
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2007 March 21 - 27 [POLITICS]

JCP Akamine demands bill to facilitate U.S. forces realignment be withdrawn

March 24, 2007
At the House of Representatives Plenary Session on March 23, Japanese Communist Party representative Akamine Seiken expressed his opposition to a bill to facilitate realignment of the U.S. forces in Japan and demanded that the realignment plan itself be cancelled.

The bill is to fund for the relocation of U.S. Marine Corps units from Okinawa to Guam and create grants for the local governments that are forced to endure heavier base burdens as a result of the realignment.

Akamine pointed out that there is neither precedent anywhere in the world nor any legal grounds for U.S. forces withdrawal costs to be paid by foreign nations. He added that the relocation of the Okinawa-based Marine units is in fact a part of a U.S. plan to strengthen U.S. base functions in Guam.

Citing the fact that during the U.S. occupation in Okinawa the U.S. forces using bayonets and bulldozers confiscated local residents’ land to construct their bases, the JCP lawmaker criticized the government for using Japanese taxpayers’ money “in order to secure bases where U.S. forces will move in from the land they had originally snatched.”

Criticizing the creation of grants only for local governments that accept the realignment plan, Akamine said, “This amounts to subduing local governments with money power.”

Foreign Minister Aso Taro admitted that there is no precedent for a foreign country paying the cost of relocation of U.S. forces from that country. “I do not know any such case,” he said. The foreign minister could not show any legal basis for forcing Japan to share the burden of relocating U.S. forces to Guam. He only said that neither the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty nor the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) applies to this case, and that the finance law has no provision explicitly prohibiting such measures. - Akahata, March 24, 2007
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