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2019 December 25 - 2020 January 14 [SDF]

Kisarazu mayor gives nod to ‘temporary’ deployment of Ospreys to local SDF base

December 26, 2019

The mayor of Kisarazu City in Chiba Prefecture, Watanabe Yoshikuni, on December 25 announced his decision to approve the Defense Ministry’s plan to “temporarily” deploy 17 Ospreys to a Ground Self-Defense Force base in the city on the condition that the 17 aircraft will be deployed elsewhere in five years.

Mayor Watanabe on this day visited the ministry office building to inform Defense Minister Kono Taro of his decision. The mayor explained that the city assembly adopted a statement placing the five-year time limit on the deployment, and then outlined three other requirements for the temporary deployment. The Defense Minister in his response, however, hinted at the possibility that the deployment may continue for more than five years.

The Defense Ministry plans to situate 17 vertical take-off and landing tiltrotor aircraft at the GSDF Kisarazu base by 2021. With this deployment, it is estimated that the number of takeoffs and landings of military aircraft at the base will increase by 4,500 from the current 25,000 a year, which has aroused concern among local people about an increase in noise pollution.

The secretary general of a Kisarazu citizens’ group opposing the Osprey deployment to the SDF base, Nonaka Akira, was angered at the mayor’s decision and expressed his concern that with the temporary deployment, flight drills of accident-prone and extremely noisy Ospreys will be held more often than now at various locations in the metropolitan area.

Nonaka expressed his determination to work even harder to increase public support for the removal of all Ospreys from Japan in collaboration with people’s opposition in Saga Prefecture to which the Defense Ministry seeks to permanently deploy SDF Ospreys.

Past related articles:
> Chiba JCP urges Defense Ministry to cancel plan to deploy SDF Ospreys to Chiba [June 1, 2019]
> Chiba JCP demands cancellation of plan to overhaul US Ospreys at local SDF camp [October 26, 2016]
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