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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 December 8 - 14  > JCP Dietmembers protest against flights of US F16 fighters after fuel tank drop accident
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2021 December 8 - 14 [US FORCES]

JCP Dietmembers protest against flights of US F16 fighters after fuel tank drop accident

December 8, 2021

Japanese Communist Party Dietmembers on December 7 submitted to Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo a written request demanding the suspension of flights of U.S. F-16 fighter jets.

This action took place in reaction to an accident last week in which an F-16 fighter belonging to the U.S. Misawa base in Aomori Prefecture jettisoned two fuel tanks onto a residential area in the prefecture before making an emergency landing at Aomori Airport.

The JCP in its written request demanded that the Japanese government urge the U.S. military to not conduct flight training drills of F-16 fighters until it finishes the probe into the accident and implements measures to prevent a recurrence. The JCP also demanded that the government press the U.S. military to disclose information regarding the dumping of the two fuel tanks and flight training routes; explain the reason for the emergency landing; comply with Japan’s Aviation Act and provide prior notice regarding flight training routes; and withdraw all F-16s stationed in Japan. Other demands in the JCP document include a drastic revision of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement.

In the submission, JCP member of the House of Representatives Takahashi Chizuko referred to the fact that the jettisoned tanks fell near private homes, and pointed out that despite the seriousness of the accident, the U.S. military resumed flights of F-16s on the next day after the Defense Minister’s grounding request was submitted. She said that the ministry should again request the U.S. forces to stop flying all aircraft of the same type.

JCP member of the House of Councilors Inoue Satoshi pointed out that the continuation of flights of F-16s without determining the cause of the fuel dump accident is unacceptable, and said that the Defense Ministry should strongly urge the U.S. military to ground F-16s until the cause is identified.

In response, a ministry official repeated that the ministry is waiting to receive a report from the U.S. military regarding its investigation of the accident.

Past related article:
> F16 fighter jettisons 2 fuel tanks in Aomori [December 2 & 3, 2021]

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