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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 July 8 - 14  > 'Temporary' deployment of JSDF Osprey aircraft to Kisarazu base starts
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2020 July 8 - 14 [SDF]

'Temporary' deployment of JSDF Osprey aircraft to Kisarazu base starts

July 11, 2020

Two V-22 Osprey aircraft were unloaded at the U.S. Iwakuni base in Iwakuni City in Yamaguchi Prefecture, and one of them left for Kisarazu City in Chiba Prefecture on July 10 to be "temporarily" deployed at the Ground Self-Defense Force Kisarazu garrison.

Outside the north side of an Iwakuni base runway, representatives of citizens' groups staged a protest, chanting, "Ospreys, No! in Kisarazu, No! in Saga." Some sort of protest action is likely to take place in Kisarazu, too.

The Osprey aircraft flown by U.S. military personnel arrived in Kisarazu on that day. The local GSDF already organized a new Air Transport Squadron, which is the first Osprey unit in Japan, in March of this year.

Japan Peace Committee Secretary General Chisaka Jun voiced concern that an abnormal situation will likely occur associated with training exercises involving more than 50 Ospreys in total before long.

Chisaka predicted that the new unit will conduct intense military drills in many parts of Japan together with the U.S. Marine Corps and an SDF amphibious mobile brigade or a Japanese version of a marine force similar to the USMC, and added, "The purpose is to make the SDF ready for an 'assault' in other countries, integrated with the U.S. military."

He criticized the Japanese government for having given in to U.S. pressure to purchase the costly aircraft even though serious flaws have been found, and for exposing the general public to increased dangers in violation of the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution. "It's a foolish path for Japan to take," said Chisaka.

According to the Defense Ministry, the period of the "temporary" deployment of Osprey aircraft at the SDF Kisarazu camp will be no more than five years based on an agreement with the city of Kisarazu. Under the ministry's plan, a civilian airport in Saga Prefecture will take over the aircraft and become an SDF Osprey base. However, the ministry has been meeting with strong opposition from local people with fishermen in front, coming to a deadlock.

Past related articles:
> Kisarazu mayor gives nod to ‘temporary’ deployment of Ospreys to local SDF base [December 26, 2019]
> Saga City disapproves of use of Saga Airport for Ospreys [August 21, 2014]
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