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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 October 1 - 7  > Abe’s remark on easing US base burden on Okinawa is deceitful
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2014 October 1 - 7 [POLITICS]

Abe’s remark on easing US base burden on Okinawa is deceitful

October 3, 2014
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo on October 2 at a House of Councilors plenary meeting remarked that the planned relocation of the U.S. Futenma base (Ginowan City) to Nago’s Henoko district in Okinawa will ease U.S. base burdens on the prefecture, but that is not true.

According to the prime minister’ remark, only a part of the base functions will be transferred from the Futenma base to Henoko. What is more, he neglected to mention the fact that the new base will become capable of hosting amphibious assault ships and have enhanced supply and transport functions.

Abe said that the new base in Henoko will not perform the functions of operating air tankers and accepting aircraft mobilized for emergencies. However, he stopped short of guaranteeing this. Actually, midair refueling aircraft which were relocated from Okinawa to the U.S. Iwakuni base in Yamaguchi, frequently visit the Futenma base to conduct flight training exercises.

The prime minister also argued that when the new facility is completed, military aircraft will change their routes and fly over the sea, which will reduce the risk of crashes and lessen noise pollution. However, that is unlikely to be the case because there is no guarantee that U.S. military aircraft will fly only on the changed routes. Even at present, U.S. military aircraft are flying outside the flight routes agreed upon by the Japanese and U.S. governments. The U.S. military also breaches the agreement restricting night flights of military aircraft.

It is said that the new base will have a life span of 200 years. The completion of the facility is another military burden placed on future generations.
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