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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 September 26 - October 2  > U.S. document reveals deception of Japanese government explanation concerning new U.S. base in Okinawa
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2007 September 26 - October 2 [US FORCES]

U.S. document reveals deception of Japanese government explanation concerning new U.S. base in Okinawa

September 26, 2007
In Japan-U.S. talks on the plan to construct a new U.S. base on the coastline of Okinawa’s Henoko district as part of the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, the U.S. made it clear to the Japanese government that U.S. military aircraft would fly over the land around the base site despite the fact that the Japanese government publicly denies such a possibility.

This was revealed at a news conference on September 25 in Naha City by Save the Dugong Foundation Secretary General Higashion’na Takuma and other plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed at the U.S. federal district court in San Francisco against the base construction in order to protect dugongs, a rare sea mammal, living in the sea off Henoko.

They made public a U.S. Marine Corps report sent from the assistant Chief of Staff G-5 Plans of the Third Marine Expeditionary Force to the Commanding General of the Expeditionary Force dated April 10, 2006 that the U.S. government had submitted to the court.

“(Japanese) products used to discuss the flight paths, which would be used to gain local acceptance, indicated that there would be no circumstances where aircraft would end up overflying land – all (flight) patterns where depicted over water,” the document stated.

However, it continued to state, “We countered that there would be times when aircraft would likely overfly land, although it would be avoided to the maximum extent possible.”

The Defense Ministry recently submitted documents for conducting environmental impact assessments to the Okinawa Prefectural Government in defiance of the opposition of the prefectural government and the residents. These documents stated, “Two runways set in a V-shape will be constructed so that aircraft can avoid flying over the surrounding land.”

Emphasizing that the explanation given in the environmental impact assessment documents has been proved to be false, Higashion’na demanded that the Japanese government conduct a proper environmental assessment with an option of “not to construct the base” if it does not meet international standards.
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