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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 February 7 - 13  > Yokosuka City Assembly rejects referendum on U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier homeporting
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2007 February 7 - 13 [US FORCES]

Yokosuka City Assembly rejects referendum on U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier homeporting

February 9, 2007
The Yokosuka City Assembly on February 8 rejected a draft ordinance to hold a referendum to decide whether to accept the deployment of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to the U.S. Yokosuka Naval Base.

The bill was supported by 10 assembly members, including two Japanese Communist Party representatives, but voted down by 31 members of the Liberal Democratic Party, Komei Party, and conservative groups.

The LDP insisted that the city does not have the right to decide on the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier deployment and that based on the national policy in support of the Japan-U.S. security treaty setup, it is a matter of course for the city to accept the deployment. The Komei Party stated that holding a referendum would bring confusion to the city.

On the other hand, JCP representative Negishi Kazuko stated, “It is undemocratic to adopt a policy in which the city need not to listen to residents but simply follow central government decisions.” She added, “What is needed now is to hold a referendum that will show residents’ consensus.”

The Association for the Success of the Referendum on the Homeporting of a Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Carrier, which had collected about 40,000 signatures calling for the ordinance to be enacted, held a press conference following the city assembly plenary session. Goto Masahiko, a lawyer and co-representative of the association, said, “The city assembly might have lost its function to reflect residents’ opinions on city policies. This question has to be looked into by residents in the upcoming city assembly members’ election.”

The Association on the same day issued a statement expressing its determination to further develop the movement in order to create a city where residents themselves can make decisions on crucial issues.

The JCP Kanagawa Prefectural Committee also issued a statement expressing that it will continue to strive with Yokosuka residents to block the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier deployment. It also stated that it will do its utmost to build a city assembly that will listen to and meet residents’ demands in the election.
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