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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 August 22 - 28  > Gov’t prioritizes US military over people’s lives for Osprey deployment: JCP
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2012 August 22 - 28 [US FORCES]

Gov’t prioritizes US military over people’s lives for Osprey deployment: JCP

August 28, 2012
Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Inoue Satoshi in his question-answer time in the Diet highlighted the government’s position to accept the planned deployment and low-altitude flight training of Ospreys without caring about people’s lives and safety.

The JCP lawmaker at a House Budget Committee meeting on August 27 reported that a top officer of the U.S. Marine Corps in Okinawa, Lt. Gen. Kenneth J. Glueck, Jr. in an interview with NHK said that with the Japanese government’s approval, the Osprey aircraft will be deployed to the U.S. Futenma base in the middle of September.

Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko said, “Safety confirmation is the top priority. I will try to obtain full understanding on this point,” and did not deny that the operation of the aircraft would start in October.

Inoue pointed out that the government is exerting coercive pressure on residents to carry out the construction of U.S. military helipads, which are to be used by Ospreys, in the Takae district of Okinawa’s Higashi Village. “In defiance of Okinawan opposition, the government rushes straight towards the approval for the U.S. plan to deploy Ospreys in the prefecture. The government puts U.S. interests before people’s safety,” criticized Inoue.

Regarding the U.S. military’s plan to conduct low-altitude flight training of Ospreys throughout Japan, Inoue pointed out that on the U.S. mainland, the U.S. military is prohibited from conducting low-altitude flight training over densely populated areas and is required to publicly announce the route and plan before the training exercise commences.

Inoue said, “It is unacceptable to allow the U.S. military to jeopardize people’s lives and safety. The government should urge the U.S. to withdraw its plan to conduct these exercises.”

Defense Minister Morimoto Satoshi responded, “In view of the nature of the training, public notification is unnecessary. The ministry requests the U.S. forces to consider the safety of flights as much as possible.” The prime minister only said the government will ask the U.S. to pay attention to safety concerns.
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