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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 May 28 - June 3  > US forcibly begins X-radar construction in Kyoto
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2014 May 28 - June 3 [US FORCES]

US forcibly begins X-radar construction in Kyoto

May 28, 2014
In defiance of strong local objection, the U.S. Forces in Japan started the construction of a radar station on May 27 in the north of Kyoto Prefecture.

The Japanese and U.S. administrations agreed at the bilateral summit meeting in February last year to build an X-band radar site in Kyoto’s Kyotango City. The function of the radar system is to detect and track ballistic missiles. Since the agreement was made, local opposition to the construction project has been mounting.

In the early afternoon of May 26, Japan’s Defense Ministry suddenly notified the prefecture and the city of the start of construction. In that notification, the ministry did not provide details, such as the number of construction vehicles and their routes.

Early in the morning of the next day, the U.S. Forces began to prepare the construction site. About 100 local residents staged a protest rally in front of the site. Holding up banners, they shouted, “We cannot allow this site construction!” “Don’t involve Japan in your wars!”

Some 50 people thronged to the city office and said to officials, “Why won’t the mayor protest to the state concerning the abrupt notice?” The Japanese Communist Party’s two prefectural assembly members also took part in these actions that day.

Washington aims to install the radar system in October and start to operate it in December at full capacity. They plan to deploy 160 military personnel to the station as well.

JCP member of the House of Councilors Kurabayashi Akiko remarked, “It’s outrageous that the U.S. forcibly started the construction. Each time the authorities held an explanatory meeting, it aroused the opposition of local citizens.” She demanded the cancellation of the construction project, stressing, “The radar system’s installation is linked to the Abe government’s move to allow Japan to use the right to collective self-defense.”

Past related article:
> Gov’t uses power of money to have residents accept US radar base construction [May 11, 2014]
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