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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 November 26 - December 2  > Stop live-fire training at Yausubetsu!
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2008 November 26 - December 2 [US FORCES]

Stop live-fire training at Yausubetsu!

November 27 & December 1, 2008
The Hokkaido Action Committee against Japan-U.S. Security Treaty (Hokkaido Anpo-Haki) on November 30 staged a protest against a live-fire training being conducted by the U.S. Marine Corps from November 20 at the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force Yausubetsu exercise field in Hokkaido.

More than 30 local protesters shouted, “Marines, go home!” in front of a gate of the GSDF training site.

Many security guards from a security firm were placed along the road leading to the gate. Hokkaido regional defense bureau officers were guarding the gate.

A 34-year-old protester said, “I was surprised to see so many private guards deployed. I understand that the Japanese SDF is being integrated with the U.S. forces, and I don’t want them to violate Hokkaido’s nature by firing live shells.”

On November 26 at a House of Councilors Special Committee on Okinawa and Northern Problems, Japanese Communist Party representative Kami Tomoko raised questions about the U.S. forces’ live-fire exercises which were to begin without any explanation or information provided to local residents. Such explanation used to be given when U.S. forces planned to conduct live-fire training exercises.

A liaison conference consisting of four towns surrounding the GSDF site in Hokkaido made representations to the Ministry of Defense on November 10 to request that the U.S. forces avoid nighttime training and to give an advance notice on exercises. On the following day, however, the U.S. forces unilaterally announced that, unlike in the past, they would not make their planned exercises public.

Kami emphasized that local residents want the exercises canceled because the area is a dairy farming zone, and demanded that the U.S. side, as its minimum responsibility, disclose details of how the exercises were going to take place.

Pointing out that not only Hokkaido Prefecture but Miyagi, Yamanashi, Shizuoka, and Oita prefectures, where similar exercises are scheduled, also demand to know details about U.S. Marine Corps live-shell firing exercises. Kami said, “Japan should take a tough stand in negotiations with the U.S.”
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