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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 May 9 - 15  > U.S. night-landing practice at Atsugi base provokes residents’ resentment
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2007 May 9 - 15 [US FORCES]

U.S. night-landing practice at Atsugi base provokes residents’ resentment

May 15, 2007
Carrier-borne aircraft of the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk are conducting touch and go exercises called night-landing practice (NLP) at the U.S. Atsugi Naval Air Station in a populated area this month for the first time in seven years.

On the night of May 14, the Japanese Communist Party and peace organizations watched the NLP and staged a protest on the north side of the Atsugi base runway.

Nakazawa Nobuko, local Zama City Peace Committee secretary who took part in the action for the first time, said, “The aircraft were flying very low and I felt like they were going to hit me. While covering my ears, the roar churned my stomach. Why on earth are such practices allowed to take place?”

Earlier in the day, the JCP Kanagawa Prefectural Committee and JCP assembly members groups of local cities submitted to the Atsugi base a statement calling for a halt to the touch-and-go exercises.

Pointing out that when the U.S. forces conducted the exercises on May 10, the prefectural government and local municipalities received a total of 151 complaints from residents, the statement urged the U.S. forces to cancel the NLP as well as other fight exercises at the base. It also demanded that the U.S. forces stop using Yokosuka as the homeport of the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk.

On the same day, Kanagawa Governor Matsuzawa Shigefumi submitted to the Yokohama Defense Facilities Administration Bureau a request of cancellation of the NLP. - Akahata, May 15, 2007
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