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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 August 20 - 26  > Citizens protest against Osprey’s first drill in eastern Japan
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2014 August 20 - 26 [POLITICS]

Citizens protest against Osprey’s first drill in eastern Japan

August 20, 2014
U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey aircraft on August 19 conducted flight training exercises for the first time in eastern Japan, amid local residents raising voices of protest against it.

On the afternoon of the day, two MV-22s flew to the Self-Defense Forces’ maneuvering grounds of East Fuji (Shizuoka Pref.) and North Fuji (Yamanashi Pref.) to take part in military exercises. However, the scheduled take-off and landing drills of Ospreys were canceled due to bad weather.

As helicopters of the SDF and the U.S. Navy were flying without much difficulty during the military exercises, citizens who were keeping an eye on the training fields said, “The weather was not that bad. Are Ospreys incapable of landing safely even under these conditions?” and “Does it mean that Ospreys are as accident prone as they are said to be?”

On the same day, a local peace group held a rally to protest against the training exercise in a village hosting the military maneuver fields. Participants in the rally cried out, “Defective Ospreys should keep away from Mt. Fuji,” and “Get out of Japan!”

Sakurai Shinsaku of the Yamanashi Prefectural Peace Committee said to the participants that the training exercise is in violation of the agreement on the use of the training field that military drills are not conducted during the tourist season.

Akiyama Koichi, who is the former Japanese Communist Party member of the Fujiyoshida City Assembly, expressed his determination to protest against the drill, “Local citizens have been enduring the roar of gunfire during military drills. In addition, we are going to face the risk of Osprey crashes. I will work to increase opposition to the use of the controversial aircraft.”
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