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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 February 21 - 27  > Kadena-based U.S. F-15s to carry out first training exercises on mainland Japan
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2007 February 21 - 27 [US FORCES]

Kadena-based U.S. F-15s to carry out first training exercises on mainland Japan

February 27, 2007
The U.S. Air Force in Japan will conduct F-15 jet fighters training exercises at Air Self-Defense Force Tsuiki Air Base in Fukuoka Prefecture for four days starting from March 5. Five F-15s and two C-130s based at the U.S. Kadena Air Base in Okinawa will take part in the joint exercises with the ASDF.

This is the first case in which such exercises are relocated from the Kadena base to mainland Japan in accord with the realignment plan of the U.S. forces in Japan.

On February 26, the mayors of Yukihashi City and Chikujo and Miyako towns that are in close proximity to the base made an arrangement with the head of the Fukuoka Defense Facilities Administrative Bureau on the relocation of the exercises.

However, the assemblies and residents of these municipalities expressed their strong opposition to the exercises.

The Chikujo Town Assembly on February 20 conveyed to Mayor Arakawa Hisami its opposition to the arrangement, criticizing his policy of approving the exercises and “lightly treating assembly resolutions.”

On February 26, local residents opposing the U.S. fighters’ training exercises took to the streets to make an urgent appeal. “The U.S. forces realignment is pushed forward under the pretext of ‘reduction in Okinawans’ base burdens,’ but in reality U.S. base functions in Okinawa have been strengthened. In the areas to which the exercises will be relocated, no effective measures to prevent noise pollution and accidents are taken to dispel the anxiety of residents,” they said.

Japanese Communist Party Yukihashi City Assembly member Tokunaga Katsuko stated, “In order to ensure the safety of residents, we firmly oppose the arrangement. We will further increase the movement against the relocation of the exercises.”

The Japan-U.S. Roadmap for Realignment Implementation of May 2006 set out the relocation of U.S. fighter jet training exercises to six SDF bases on the mainland, including the Tsuiki base.
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