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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 November 23 - 29  > 5,000 Tokyoites hold rally to oppose Osprey deployment to US Yokota AB
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2016 November 23 - 29 TOP3 [US FORCES]

5,000 Tokyoites hold rally to oppose Osprey deployment to US Yokota AB

November 24, 2016
A rally took place on November 23 to oppose a plan to deploy the crash-prone Osprey aircraft to the U.S. Yokota base which is located in a western suburb of Tokyo. Around 5,000 people joined in the rally held at a park near the base.

Tokyo Regional Council of Trade Unions (Tokyo Chihyo) President Morita Minoru delivered a speech on behalf of the rally organizers. He pointed out that the U.S. military plans to deploy 10 CV22 Ospreys, which are used for special operations, to the Yokota base. Morita called on the participants to work to block the deployment through cooperation with a wider range of citizens and organizations.

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira took part in the rally along with two of JCP lawmakers elected from Tokyo, Miyamoto Toru (House of Representatives) and Yamazoe Taku (House of Councilors). Koike in his speech said that the deployment of CV22 Ospreys to the Yokota base is part of the ongoing move to improve the functions of U.S. military bases nationwide. He added that the U.S. military is setting up a command center to carry out special operations from this base.

Koike went on to point out that Ospreys are so prone to accidents that the U.S. Congress deems the aircraft to have structural flaws. Noting that CV22s have a worse accident record than MV22s, Koike stressed that the Yokota base should not host this problematic accident-prone aircraft.

At the rally, a representative of a residents’ group talked about their court battle to stop noise pollution from the Yokota base. The speaker explained that the U.S. military conducts flights at the base 12,000 times a year and that it is not rare to see 20 flights taking off and landing in one hour. Under such a situation, the person said, the planned Osprey deployment is unacceptable.

Solidarity messages from Okinawa were read out at the rally. Okinawa’s Futenma base (Nago City) is currently the only base in Japan that hosts Ospreys. The messages were from Nago City Mayor Inamine Susumu and Okinawa-elected Dietmember Iha Yoichi.


Past related articles:
> LDP Koike in Tokyo governor race calls US Yokota base a ‘treasure’ [July 21 & 26, 2016]
> JCP Miyamoto demands withdrawal of deployment of CV22s to Yokota base [March 12, 2016]
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