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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 October 26 - November 1  > Chiba JCP demands cancellation of plan to overhaul US Ospreys at local SDF camp
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2016 October 26 - November 1 [US FORCES]

Chiba JCP demands cancellation of plan to overhaul US Ospreys at local SDF camp

October 26, 2016
Representatives of the Japanese Communist Party Chiba Prefectural Committee and residents of Chiba’s Kisarazu City on October 24 made representations to the Defense Ministry, demanding the cancellation of a plan to perform maintenance on U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Ospreys at the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force Camp Kisarazu. JCP lawmakers Saito Kazuko and Hatano Kimie joined in making the representation.

The Japanese and U.S. governments plan to use the Camp Kisarazu from January 2017 for regular servicing of the crash-prone transport aircraft which are deployed at the U.S. Futenma Air Station in Okinawa.

In the representations, the petitioners urged the defense authorities to hold a meeting to explain the plan to local residents as well as disclose the flight routes and schedule for the maintenance. They also insisted that if the ministry sticks to the plan, it should at least conclude an agreement with the city on measures to prevent crashes and noise pollution. A city resident, Ito Susumu, said, “U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy mentioned the need to obtain local consent for U.S. military activities in Japan. The ministry should directly explain the plan to us.”

JCP parliamentarian Saito stressed, “It’s outrageous to implement the plan without even holding an explanatory meeting for local residents.”

A ministry official said in response that the defense authorities will talk with the city government about holding a briefing for residents on the project.

On the morning of that day, two MV-22s flew to the camp for the first time amid fierce protests by members of the JCP, the Social Democratic Party, and local pacifist groups.

Sato Namiko, 64, a member of the Kisarazu branch of the New Japan Women’s Association (Shinfujin), said, “I’m astonished by the deafening noises caused by the aircraft. There are childcare centers near the SDF camp. What will happen if an Osprey crashes into a residential area?”

Past related article:
> Construction of Osprey maintenance site underway in coastal area of Tokyo Bay [March 16, 2016]
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