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JCP protests against planned deployment of U.S. military helicopter units

The Japanese Communist Party in Kanagawa Prefecture requested that the Foreign Ministry protest against the U.S. Forces in Japan's plan to deploy helicopter units to the U.S. Navy Atsugi Air Facility.

Following an announcement by the U.S. Atsugi base commander that the U.S. Navy is studying the helicopter deployment plan, JCP Kanagawa Prefectural Committee representatives on April 1 made representations to the Foreign Ministry.

The JCP statement pointed out that the helicopter deployment will cause more noise pollution while unnecessarily strengthening the base functions.

It also states that the ministry should propose holding prior consultation with the United States over new deployments in accordance with Article 6 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.

A Foreign Ministry official said that the plan has not yet been put forward in specific terms and that there is no need to call for prior consultations, which are required when the U.S. wants new deployments to Japan approved.

However, on the allegation that the presence of the aircraft-carrier is necessary for the security of Japan and the Far East, the Foreign Ministry clearly stated that it will not ask the U.S. Forces in Japan to reconsider any such deployment plans.

- Akahata, April 2, 2009

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