National Association of Chairmen of Town and Village Assemblies calls for revision of SOFA

November 11, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo

The National Association of Chairmen of Town and Village Assemblies unanimously adopted a special resolution calling for revision of the US-Japan Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) at the 59th national convention held on November 11 in Tokyo. It is the first time that a resolution demanding revision of the SOFA has been adopted at the convention.
The town and village assemblies of the eight prefectures in Kyushu proposed this resolution.

The resolution reads: “Okinawa hosts approximately 74 percent of the bases for exclusive use by the U.S. forces in Japan. U.S. military problems including incidents, accidents, aircraft noise, environmental damage, and crimes involving U.S. military personnel and civilian employees of the bases, have persisted for 70 years following the war. The lives of local people are profoundly affected by the presence of U.S. forces.”

The SOFA came into effect in 1960 and has yet to be revised. The national association demanded a drastic revision of the SOFA, stating, “The governments of Japan and the United States have improved operation of the agreement and signed the Supplemental Agreement on the Environment of SOFA, but these changes are still insufficient to protect the people’s lives, property, and rights.”

(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)

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