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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 April 13 - 19  > GSDF and US Navy jointly conducted drills to suppress anti-base demonstrators
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2022 April 13 - 19 [POLITICS]

GSDF and US Navy jointly conducted drills to suppress anti-base demonstrators

April 15, 2022
Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force and the U.S. Navy had jointly conducted training exercises to remove civil demonstrators protesting against U.S. bases, Akahata on April 15 learned.

According to photo news dated November 5, 2020 and distributed by the U.S. Department of Defense visual news site DVIDS, the GSDF and the U.S. Navy stationed at the Sasebo base (Sasebo City, Nagasaki Pref.) carried out the joint training exercise named "Guard and Protect 2020" on November 4, 2020 at the U.S. Yokose Fuel Facility (Saikai City, Nagasaki Pref.). In the photo, two GSDF personnel are blocking the pathway of "demonstrators" who are holding placards reading, "NO NAVY - LEAVE JAPAN". One is using a radio and the other is carrying a gun. Another photo of a training exercise at the Yokose depot is on the DVIDS site as well in which three GSDF personnel are pointing their guns at two "citizens" who entered the base.

Tomizuka Akira, secretary-general of the Nagasaki Peace Committee said, "They regard citizens taking part in legitimate protests as subjects for suppression. This resembles the Russian government under President Putin and with the prewar Japanese regime."

Tomizuka pointed out that the SDF has become an "offensive military" - a shift from its previous restraint to "defensive defense" under the process of Japan-U.S. military integration. He said, "Defense-only units working to protect Japan can receive support from residents, but 'offensive units' may have to assume that residents are 'obstacles'. I think the SDF knows that 'offensive units' cannot receive public support. Because of this, they are wary of 'antiwar demonstrations'."

Past related article:
> Defense Ministry saw antiwar demonstrators as potential mob [March 31, 2022]
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