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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 March 22 - 28  > JCP Nihi demands cancellation of Osprey deployment to Saga
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2023 March 22 - 28 [SDF]

JCP Nihi demands cancellation of Osprey deployment to Saga

March 23, 2023
Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Nihi Sohei at a House Budget Committee meeting on March 22 demanded the cancellation of the plan to use Saga Airport (Saga Pref.) for military purposes as many local residents are voicing their opposition to the plan.

The Kishida government is planning to establish a new Ground Self-Defense Force facility at the prefecture-run airport of Saga (Saga City) and to deploy 17 Osprey aircraft to the airport.

The Saga prefectural government and eight local fisheries cooperatives have an agreement which disallows co-use of the airport by the SDF. However, suddenly in 2014, the Abe government at that time suggested the Osprey deployment to Saga Airport. Met with strong local protest, Prime Minister Abe had to concede, "No local consent has been obtained."

Facing the fact that, as pointed out by Nihi, in five explanatory meetings held so far for local residents, the attendees overwhelmingly voiced opposition to the military use of the airport, Defense Minister Hamada Yasukazu could not assert that the government has won approval from local communities.

Nihi also pointed out that Saga Governor Yamaguchi Yoshinori and some executives of the prefectural fishery cooperative association decided to review the bilateral agreement behind closed doors in November last year without offering an explanation to local fishermen, and that no explanation has been given even to the administrative council which manages airport property.

Nihi noted that the Defense Ministry had sent a letter proposing acquisition prices of the land by post to land co-owners. He criticized the government for sneakily checking on who co-owns the land and directly sending them the proposal over the heads of the local fishing cooperatives leaders.

Past related articles:
> Saga citizens and JCP protest against promotion of Osprey deployment to local Airport [July 5, 2017]
> Saga City disapproves of use of Saga Airport for Ospreys [August 21, 2014]
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