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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 October 7 - 13  > Nishinoomote City mayor opposes planned relocation of FCLP to nearby island
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2020 October 7 - 13 [US FORCES]

Nishinoomote City mayor opposes planned relocation of FCLP to nearby island

October 8, 2020

The mayor of Nisinoomote City in Kagoshima Prefecture on October 7 announced his decision to oppose the planned construction of a Self-Defense Forces facility on Mageshima Island, which is administered by the city, for U.S. field carrier landing practice (FCLP) exercises to be relocated to the island with the co-use of the new SDF facility.

Currently, the U.S. military conducts FCLP drills on the remote island of Iwo Jima, which is administratively part of Tokyo, in the western Pacific.

Explaining the reason for his decision, Mayor Yaita Shun’suke pointed out that the biggest problem with the acceptance of the FCLP relocation is that as Japanese laws are not applied to the U.S. forces in Japan, they can do whatever they like.

Furthermore, Yaita pointed out that the SDF plans to hold flight training exercises involving F35 stealth fighters and Ospreys. The mayor expressed concerns that local people may suffer extensive damages with the concentration of flight training exercises by the U.S. military and the SDF.

Mayor Yaita referred to a document regarding the planned construction of the SDF facility which was submitted by the Defense Ministry at the end of September in response to the city government request.

Yaita pointed out that while failing to provide concrete information on various issues, such as the impact of aircraft noise, the ministry document clearly indicates that the construction of the military facility will deliver a damaging blow to the natural environment of Mageshima Island as well as to the fishing grounds near the island. Stating that the acceptance of the ministry’s plan means a great loss to the city, the mayor expressed his determination to build up the local economy without relying on base-related state subsidies.

With concerns over noise pollution and a possible negative impact on local fisheries and tourism which are major industries in the area, local residents have been voicing their opposition to the planned relocation of FCLP by U.S. military aircraft to Mageshima Island, about 10 kilometers from Nishinoomote City.

Past related articles:
> Movement against possible US touch-and-go landings and takeoffs on small island spreads even to conservatives [December 22, 2019]
> Cost to purchase island for US flight drill swells fourfold to 16 billion yen [March 19, 2019]
> JCP urges Defense Ministry to cancel planned relocation of FCLP to Mageshima Island [January 23, 2019]
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