Chatan protests against foreign aircrafts flying to Kadena Air Base
February 16, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo
On the morning of February 16, the Chatan Town Council held a special meeting to discuss the constant influx of foreign aircrafts flying to the Kadena Air Base. Members unanimously passed a resolution of protest and statement against this issue. The statement and resolution requested the following: 1) Cancelation of all current inbound flights, temporary deployments, and training using foreign aircrafts. The area must be cleared immediately. 2) Easing of the burden placed by U.S. military bases and making sure their roles do not continue to grow any larger. 3) Adhering with the noise prevention agreement. 4) Drastic revision of the Japan-U.S. Status-of-Forces Agreement.
In regards to the estimated 40 foreign aircrafts that have been flying to Kadena Air Base from across and beyond Japan, Mayor Kengi Taba said, “We haven’t seen such a large influx of foreign aircrafts since the Vietnam War in the 1970s. We are nowhere close to alleviating the burden caused by the realignment of U.S. military forces in Japan.” He also criticized how foreign aircrafts were flying without notice and that the noise emissions were getting worse. Taba commented, “We can’t contain our fury against the arbitrary ways of the U.S. military, who have clearly broken the bounds.” ]
The resolution of protest was addressed to the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, the Commander of U.S. Forces in Japan, and the 18th Wing Commander. The statement was addressed to both Presidents of the House of Representatives and the House of Councilors, the Prime Minister, as well as the Okinawa Defense Bureau. Mayor Taba and other representatives plan to visit the 18th Wing and the Okinawa Defense Bureau to protest in person on February 17.
(English Translation by T&CT, Kaya Doi)
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