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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 July 28 - August 3  > JCP in Miyazaki urges governor to order halt to flights of US military aircraft without flight notification
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2021 July 28 - August 3 [US FORCES]

JCP in Miyazaki urges governor to order halt to flights of US military aircraft without flight notification

July 31, 2021
A group of Japanese Communist Party assemblypersons in Miyazaki Prefecture on July 30 submitted to Governor Kono Shunji a written request demanding that the governor prevent U.S. military airplanes from flying over the prefecture.

This action took place in reaction to an accident three days previous in which a UH-1 military helicopter of the U.S. Futenma base in Okinawa made a forced landing on a rice paddy in Miyazaki’s Kushima City.

The JCP in its written request demands that the U.S. military restore the damaged paddy field and provide compensation to the farmer and that the governor lodge a protest against the accident with the U.S. military and Japan’s Defense Ministry. Other demands in the JCP document include full disclosure of information related to the accident such as the cause of the accident as well as a ban on flights of U.S. military aircraft over the prefecture if they give no advance notice of their flight plans.

Furthermore, the JCP pointed out that the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement hinders the local authorities and the police from investigating the accident. The JCP demands that the governor urge the Japanese and U.S. governments to review the SOFA.

In response, a prefectural government official explained what measures the prefectural government took to deal with the accident. He said that the day after the accident, the prefecture urged the Defense Ministry’s Kyushu Defense Bureau to request the U.S. forces to probe into the accident and take measures to prevent a recurrence.

As of July 30, a USMC team was sent to repair the helicopter in question at the emergency landing site where the U.S. military cordoned off the immediate vicinity of the site while the Japanese police set up another cordon around the U.S. military-set cordon.
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