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HOME  > Past issues  > 2024 January 24 - 30  > JPC opposes improvement of airports and harbors for military purposes
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2024 January 24 - 30 [POLITICS]

JPC opposes improvement of airports and harbors for military purposes

January 30, 2024

The Japan Peace Committee (JPC) is calling for the cancellation of the government plan to repair, improve, and strengthen the functions of public infrastructure such as airports and harbors so that Japan’s Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. military will be able to use them for combat situations.

On January 29, JPC representatives submitted a written demand to this effect to Chief Cabinet Secretary Hayashi Yoshimasa, Land and Infrastructure Minister Saito Tetsuo, and Defense Minister Kihara Minoru.

The government designates some airports and harbors as “facilities for specific uses” based on the needs of the SDF and the Japan Coast Guard. It incorporates these facilities’ reinforcement and improvements in the “national security strategy”, one of the three key national security documents. The government will coordinate with relevant municipalities if military forces need access to those facilities even in ordinary times, according to the document.

JPC Secretary General Chisaka Jun pointed out that it would be the U.S. military in effect that uses the designated airports and harbors in war-related emergencies and that these facilities could become targets of enemy attacks. Chisaka expressed concern that they could be mobilized for war as military strongholds, exposing surrounding communities to dangers.

A Cabinet Secretariat official in response did not deny the possibility of the use of the designated facilities by U.S. forces. The official said that the U.S. military is “not excluded”. A Defense Ministry official said that “when a conflict actually breaks out,” the government will judge whether or not the designated facilities could be targets of attacks.
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