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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 March 11 - 17  > US fighters fly from Japan to Middle East to bomb IS militants
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2015 March 11 - 17 TOP3 [US FORCES]

US fighters fly from Japan to Middle East to bomb IS militants

March 15, 2015

Akahata Sunday edition

F-16 fighter jets from the U.S. Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture took part in the bombing campaigns against the so-called IS (Islamic State) militant group, Akahata Sunday edition reported on March 15.

This fact again shows that the U.S. bases in Japan work as a stronghold to attack foreign “enemies”, not to defend Japan, says Akahata.

According to Akahata, the 13th Fighter Squadron stationed at the Misawa base had been deployed in the Middle East between May and October in 2014. The coalition of the willing led by the U.S. military launched airstrikes against the IS in August last year.

In response to an inquiry from Akahata, the U.S. Air Force Central Command, which is in charge of the Middle Eastern region, said that the squadron was engaged in bombing operations conducted in Syria and Iraq.

An official at the Misawa base refused to disclose the target areas of the air attacks and the number of aircraft involved because of “safety concerns”, while admitting that its F-16s took part in the operations.

The Japan-U.S. Security Treaty Division of Japan’s Foreign Ministry told Akahata that they were unaware that the aircraft from the Misawa base participated in the bombardments. The Headquarters of U.S. Forces Japan (the U.S. Yokota Air Base in Tokyo) stated that there is no need to inform the Japanese government about its military deployments.

In the Iraq War started in 2003, the U.S. military in Japan dispatched a total of about 10,000 servicepersons, including marines from the Futenma Air Station in Okinawa, along with the F-15 fighters at the Misawa base.

Maeda Tetsuo, a military analyst, said, “Article 6 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty states that the purpose of the treaty is to contribute to ‘the security of Japan and the maintenance of international peace and security in the Far East’. The Middle East is not the Far East. The participation in the airstrikes against IS militants departs from even the aim of this agreement.”

“If the U.S. continues the air assaults in defiance of the UN Charter, it will give the extremist group yet another excuse to justify its brutal acts of retaliation. The need now is to think about how we can break away from this chain of violence,” Maeda stressed.

Past related article:
> JCP disapproves of airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria [March 31, 2015]
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