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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 February 3 - 9  > US live-fire drills burn hundreds of hectares of land at World Heritage site, Mt. Fuji
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2021 February 3 - 9 [US FORCES]

US live-fire drills burn hundreds of hectares of land at World Heritage site, Mt. Fuji

February 6, 2021

The U.S. Marine Corps stationed in Okinawa recently caused a fire during its live-shell firing drills at the Japanese Self-Defense Forces training site which is located at the foot of Mt. Fuji. This came out in the Defense Ministry’s response to a Japanese Communist Party inquiry.

The fire broke out in the afternoon of February 4 at the Ground SDF Kita Fuji training field in Yamanashi Prefecture where the USMC on the previous day launched their 10-day live-fire drills. It lasted for half a day and burned hundreds of hectares at the Mt. Fuji World Heritage site.

On the following day, civil society groups in Yamanashi, including a peace group, made representations to the prefectural government in protest against the fire caused by the USMC. The groups pointed out that the latest fire during the U.S. military’s live-fire drills posed a threat to resident’s safety, and demanded that the prefecture urge the U.S. military to halt the live-fire exercises.

The civil groups on February 3 took to the streets near the prefectural government office building to increase public support for their protest against the U.S. live-fire drills, holding up placards that read, “Ban U.S. military’s transportation within Japan during the pandemic!”, “Governor should urge the USMC to not visit Yamanashi and hold live-fire drills!”, and “Suga government should spend the 300 million yen in tax money earmarked for the drills for anti-corona measures!”

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