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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 February 15 - 21  > JCP in Aomori protests against F-16 fuel tank dump
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2023 February 15 - 21 [US FORCES]

JCP in Aomori protests against F-16 fuel tank dump

February 18, 2023

It has come to light that an F-16 fighter jet stationed at the U.S. Misawa base in Aomori’s Misawa City on the afternoon of February 15 experienced an emergency during flight training and was forced to jettison two fuel tanks into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Aomori Prefecture.

The Japanese Communist Party Misawa City Committee and JCP member of the city assembly Okumoto Naomi on February 17 submitted to a local office of the Defense Ministry’s Tohoku Defense Bureau a document addressed to the U.S. Forces Japan Commander in which the JCP protested against the latest drop accident and called for the withdrawal of F-16 aircraft from the Misawa base.

Okumoto urged the Defense Bureau’s local office to explain the cause of the accident and take measures to prevent a recurrence. She noted that F-16 fighters deployed to the Misawa base have frequently caused drop accidents. Pointing out that such military flights endanger local people’s lives and livelihoods, the JCP assemblyperson demanded that F-16 aircraft be grounded and removed from the Misawa base.

F-16 fighter accidents include these: in November 2021, two fuel tanks were jettisoned near a residential area in Fukaura Town; in November 2019 a dummy bomb was dropped on private land in Rokkasho Village where there are elementary and junior high schools nearby; and in February 2018, two fuel tanks were dumped into Lake Ogawara in Tohoku Town where fishermen were gathering "shijimi" freshwater clams.

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

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