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HOME  > Past issues  > 2024 May 22 - 28  > JCP Akamine opposes planned deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles to US Kadena base
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2024 May 22 - 28 [US FORCES]

JCP Akamine opposes planned deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles to US Kadena base

May 22, 2024

Japanese Communist Party representative Akamine Seiken on May 16 opposed the planned deployment of two U.S. Navy MQ-4C Triton unmanned aerial vehicles to the U.S. Kadena base in Okinawa as it will lead to the imposition of further base burdens on the prefecture.

At a meeting of the House of Representatives National Security Committee, Akamine pointed out that in the Kadena base, where F-22 Raptor stealth fighter aircraft are temporarily deployed, noise pollution has become a more serious issue. He also pointed out that since MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles were deployed in October 2023, the U.S. military has conducted parachuting drills on a continual basis.

Akamine noted that the Defense Ministry, in its notification to local governments in Okinawa about the planned deployment of MQ-4Cs, explained that due to the nature of the Triton’s missions, early morning and nighttime flights of the aircraft are conceivable. The JCP lawmaker pointed out that this goes counter to a noise-prevention agreement between the Japanese and U.S. governments which restricts U.S. military flights between 10 p.m. through 6 a.m.

Akamine pointed out that Okinawa Governor Tamaki Denny on May 10 petitioned Defense Minister Kihara Minoru to reduce the negative impacts on residents living near the Kadena base with measures including restricting the arrival of U.S. military aircraft from outside Okinawa and banning nighttime flights over residential areas. The JCP lawmaker criticized the Japanese government for having no intent to lighten Okinawa’s base burdens.
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