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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 January 27 - February 2  > News report on secret pact proves that Henoko base project aims to enhance US military functions
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2021 January 27 - February 2 [POLITICS]

News report on secret pact proves that Henoko base project aims to enhance US military functions

January 28, 2021

Japanese Communist Party Diet Policy Commission Chair Kokuta Keiji on January 27 at a press conference in the Diet building said, “It has yet again become obvious that the new U.S. base will be constructed in Henoko not as an alternative to the U.S. Futenma base, but to enhance the U.S. military functions overall. This is the essence of this project.”

Kokuta made this remark when asked about a comment for news articles in Okinawa Times and Kyodo News dated January 25. These articles revealed a Japan-U.S. secret agreement concerning a plan to deploy a Ground Self-Defense Force amphibious mobile brigade, a Japanese version of a marine force similar to the U.S. Marine Corps, to USMC Camp Schwab in the Henoko district in Okinawa’s Nago City.

JCP Kokuta exposed this secret agreement in Diet discussions. On May 11, 2018 at a meeting of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, Kokuta asked questions about the secret plan revealed in internal documents submitted by the Defense Ministry. However, in the documents which were compiled by the Ground Staff Office, the section that supposedly explains which GSDF units will be stationed on the Okinawa main island was blacked out. Therefore, Kokuta grilled the government by saying that this section was blacked out because it includes the planned deployment of the GSDF amphibious unit to U.S. Camp Schwab. Then State Minister of Defense Yamamoto Tomohiro in his reply said, “The Defense Ministry has no knowledge of the stationing of SDF infantry troops anywhere on the Okinawa main island including Camp Schwab.”

Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu at a regular briefing on January 25 denied the news reports, saying, “I know nothing about any secret agreement or any deployment plan.”

Meanwhile, two days later at a House of Councilors Budget Committee meeting, Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo virtually admitted that the plan had been discussed in the government while turning down the report by saying that the government made no agreement. He made this remark in response to a question made by Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker Haku Shinkun.

“If the government denies the reports regarding the secret agreement, it should disclose information in the redacted section,” Kokuta said at the press conference on January 27.
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