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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 July 7 - 13  > Aomori JCP protests against US Osprey low-altitude flight drills over longline fishery lake
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2021 July 7 - 13 TOP3 [US FORCES]

Aomori JCP protests against US Osprey low-altitude flight drills over longline fishery lake

July 7 & 9, 2021
The Japanese Communist Party Aomori Prefectural Committee and the JCP prefectural assemblymembers’ group on July 6 submitted to Governor Mimura Shingo a written request urging the prefectural government to protest against ultralow altitude flights by two U.S. Osprey aircraft over a longline fishery lake.

The JCP in its document demanded public disclosure of the details of low-altitude flight training exercises over Lake Ogawara conducted by the two Ospreys on June 30 and July 1. The JCP also demanded the cancellation of flight training drills of Ospreys stationed at the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Base which are slated to begin on July 14 at the U.S. Misawa ground-strafing range.

In the submission, JCP assemblyperson in Tohoku Town, where Lake Ogawara is located, Ichikawa Toshimitsu said, “The continuation of Osprey flight drills over the lake will deliver a damaging blow to fishermen’s source of livelihoods. The prefectural government should take action to prevent a recurrence.” JCP candidate for the coming general election Saito Mio said, “It is unacceptable for the U.S. military to use the lake as part of its base of operations.”

A prefectural government official replied that the prefecture will take necessary measures based on information provided by the Defense Ministry’s Tohoku Defense Bureau in response to the prefecture’s inquiry about the Osprey low-altitude flight drills over the lake.

On the following day, a group of JCP members, including Ichikawa, held talks with the cooperative of fishermen at Lake Ogawara regarding this matter.

Fishery cooperative head Hamada Masataka referred to an incident in which a U.S. F-16 fighter jet of the U.S. Misawa Air Base in February 2018 dumped two fuel tanks into the lake where fishermen were netting shijimi freshwater clams. Hamada angrily said, “As soon as I heard the latest incident, I thought, ‘Not again!’ Ospreys flew over the lake at ultralow altitudes while longline fishing boats for eels were operating, which posed a serious threat to fishermen. We have repeatedly requested the U.S. military to give prior notice before flight drills, but our requests were always ignored.”

Past related articles:
> US Ospreys fly at ultralow altitudes over a longline fishery lake in Aomori [July 2, 2021]
> US military jet dumps fuel tanks into lake in Aomori [February 21, 2018]
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