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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 January 18 - 24  > JCP in Ehime Prefecture demands suspension of US aircraft flights over nuclear power plant
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2023 January 18 - 24 [US FORCES]

JCP in Ehime Prefecture demands suspension of US aircraft flights over nuclear power plant

January 20, 2023

The Ehime Prefectural Committee of the Japanese Communist Party on January 19 made a representation to Ehime Governor Nakamura Tokihiro, demanding that the governor request the U.S. military to suspend flights of U.S. military aircraft over the Ikata Nuclear Power Plant (Ikata Town, Ehime Pref.).

Together with representatives of citizens' organizations opposing low-altitude flight training exercises of U.S. aircraft, JCP local committee chair Hayashi Noriko and Ehime prefectural assemblymember Tanaka Katsuhiko took part in the representation.

Kawakami Tetsuo, a civil group representative, said that a KC-130J air tanker stationed at the U.S. Marine Corps Iwakuni Air Station was flying about 4,500 meters over the Ikata NPP for one hour and a half at around noon on December 21 last year.

Kawakami said, "No U.S. military aircraft had flown directly above the Ikata NPP before. The U.S. military may have been conducting its flight training exercises using the Ikata plant as a target."

Hayashi, the head of the JCP local committee, emphasized that flying over the nuclear power plant is extremely dangerous. She demanded that the governor make an inquiry to U.S. forces Japan about the flight in question and make their answers public, and that legal action be taken in order to prevent military aircraft from flying over the Ikata NPP.

A prefectural government official in response said that the prefectural government is confirming through the central government if the flight in question did in fact take place. The official added, "If it is true, it was a dangerous flight that frightened prefectural residents. Through the national government, we will ask the U.S. military to not have its aircraft fly above the Ikata plant in future."

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