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HOME  > Past issues  > 2011 January 26 - February 1  > JCP condemns traffic accident caused by drunken US soldier
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2011 January 26 - February 1 [US FORCES]

JCP condemns traffic accident caused by drunken US soldier

February 1, 2011
Japanese Communist Party representatives in Kanagawa Prefecture on January 31 made a protest to the commander of the U.S. Atsugi Naval Air Station regarding a traffic accident caused by a drunken U.S. soldier that killed a local man.

The accident happened on January 26. A soldier belonging to the Atsugi base, which stretches from Yamato City to Ayase City in Kanagawa Prefecture, crashed into a motorbike ridden by a man living in Yamato City. The soldier was arrested for drunk driving and for injuring the man. The victim died two days after the accident.

JCP Kanagawa Prefectural Assembly member Kawano Koji pointed out that as the number of serious incidents involving U.S. military personnel has been increasing, the commander should fulfill his responsibility to stop soldiers’ illegal behavior. He also called for a full investigation to find the cause of the accident, measures to prevent such accidents, driving education thoroughly provided for soldiers, and compensation for the victim’s family.

An official from the Atsugi Air base replied that they are very sorry for the victim, adding that they are discussing about what they can do to prevent similar accidents.

JCP city assembly member’s groups of Yamato City and Ayase City as well as representatives from the Japan Peace Committee joined in the protest.

Mayor Oki Satoru of Yamato City on January 27 called on the commander to prevent similar accidents through measures to maintain strict discipline among soldiers and to provide them with safe driving education. The following day, the mayor also demanded that the national government should play a role to address the problem with sincerity.

In Ayase City, Mayor Kasama Seijiro and City Assembly Chair Aoyagi Makoto on January 27 expressed their concerns to the commander.

An association of seven city assemblies near the base on January 28 asked the commander to prevent the recurrence of such accidents.
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