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HOME  > Past issues  > 2009 October 14 - 20  > JCP lawmakers and Kin mayor discuss ways to stop U.S. forces
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2009 October 14 - 20 [OKINAWA]

JCP lawmakers and Kin mayor discuss ways to stop U.S. forces

October 17, 2009
Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Akamine Seiken on October 16 held talks with Mayor Gibu Takeshi of Kin Town in Okinawa, where the U.S. Marine Corps Camp Hansen is located, regarding how to revise the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement and eliminate the various harm and damages caused by the U.S. Marines.

In Kin Town, bullets fired at the U.S. Army Firing Range 4 in the camp were found at civil housing areas outside the base, and mountain fires broke out one after another during training exercises.

Members of the town assembly’s special committee on the U.S. military base and Maeda Masaaki, JCP member in the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly, also joined in the talks.

As regards the U.S. Army Firing Range 4, Mayor Gibu stated, “Contradicting the explanation to the town that the range will be decommissioned and withdrawn, it is actually increasing its operations.”

A committee member said, “Although local governments in northern Okinawa have accepted the construction of a new U.S. air base in exchange for the government’s regional economic stimulus policy, the reality in Kin Town is that the unemployment rate is more than 20 percent and per capita income stands at just two million yen (half of the national average).”

Another member denounced the U.S. for not commencing fire-fighting operations until mountain fires within the camp site rapidly expanded.

“In view of the drastically changing world situation, I wonder if the Japan-U.S. alliance is necessary. The current bilateral relation is too unequal,” said another town assembly member. - Akahata, October 17, 2009
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