Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 August 19 - 25  > Fire occurs at US base in Kanagawa’s residential area
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2015 August 19 - 25 TOP3 [US FORCES]

Fire occurs at US base in Kanagawa’s residential area

August 25, 2015

A U.S. supply depot located in a densely populated area in Kanagawa’s Sagamihara City on August 24 caught fire triggered by multiple explosions. Residents living near the facility are developing a fear of U.S. bases which are situated beyond the order of the Japanese law.

Sagamihara City Peace Committee director Tanaka Takeo, who lives only three minutes’ walking distance from the U.S. Army Sagami General Depot where the fire occurred, said, “I was woken up late at night by a big bang like a lighting strike. Hearing continued explosions, I felt terror.”

Citing the fact that the base is located in the middle of the residential area and storing all the items needed to fight wars, Tanaka angrily said that this incident indicated that the U.S. base is exposing residents to extreme hazard.

He went on to say, “Under the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement, Japan is unable to investigate into the fire without permission from the U.S. forces. It is a matter of course for Japan’s national and local governments to have the authority to check safety measures regarding storage of hazardous materials at U.S. military facilities. U.S. bases over which Japan has no control must be removed without delay.”

Expressing concern, an 84-year-old woman living in a prefecture-owned housing complex across the street from the U.S. supply depot said, “If the U.S. launches war, that facility in question will be used to attack the enemy and will of course become an enemy target.”

Another resident in the complex who is in her 50s said in anger, “We have no information about what is actually stored on that base. I was really scared that a bomb exploded.”

A 17-year-old high school student living near the base said, “I want to know why the fire occurred, but the Japanese police don’t have the authority to investigate, right?”

Past related articles:
> End Japan’s subservience to U.S. and move to abrogate Japan-U.S. Security Treaty [January 20, 2010]
> U.S. forces in Japan, including criminals, are privileged under Article 17 of SOFA [March 22, 2008]
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved