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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 March 30 - April 5  > Japan gov't not informed of USMC air-refueling drills over Japan
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2022 March 30 - April 5 [US FORCES]

Japan gov't not informed of USMC air-refueling drills over Japan

April 1, 2022
Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Inoue Satoshi at an Upper House Foreign Affairs Committee meeting on March 31 said that photographs of aerial-refueling drills over Japan are being published on a U.S. Pentagon news website. Inoue demanded that the government lodge a protest with the U.S. military regarding the posting of the photos and urge the U.S. side to halt such drills.

The visual news distribution site of the U.S. Department of Defense "DVIDS" posted photos in which a KC-130 tanker based at the USMC Iwakuni base (Yamaguchi Pref.) and an F-35B stealth fighter jet conducted aerial refueling "near Mt. Fuji" on March 23. Also, photos dated March 24 of air-to-air refueling with Mt. Fuji in the background are on the site.

Japan's Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo said, "We are making an inquiry to the U.S. military as to the facts, but we have not yet received an answer."

Inoue referred to the fact that former Defense Minister Inada Tomomi on January 5, 2017 told the press that the government confirmed with the USFJ that in-flight refueling training will not be conducted over land. In addition, at a Lower House Budget Committee meeting on February 22, 2017, Inada said that this midair-refueling restriction applies to all U.S. military aircraft.

Inoue asked, "Does the government still maintain what Inada had said was policy?" DM Kishi answered, "Yes, and that remains the case today."

Inoue said, "Contrary to the minister's past statements, the USMC air-refueling training exercises over Japan's land are posted on the Internet. Are you just watching this silently without protesting?" He again demanded that the government immediately urge the USFJ to stop the training exercises.
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