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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 December 14 - 20  > USFJ conducts live-fire drills in outskirts of Kyoto
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2016 December 14 - 20 [US FORCES]

USFJ conducts live-fire drills in outskirts of Kyoto

December 15, 2016
U.S. soldiers belonging to the U.S. radar communication site in Kyotango City in Kyoto went ahead with live-fire training exercises in late November at a Ground Self-Defense Force shooting range in the prefecture, without waiting for a reply from local municipalities whether they were willing to host the practice or not.

The U.S. military had informed Japan of its desire to conduct these exercises sometime in November at the GSDF facility in the prefecture’s Fukuchiyama City. In response to this, early in the same month, both Kyoto Governor Yamada Keiji and Fukuchiyama Mayor Ohashi Kazuo submitted a written request that safety measures be implemented. However, the Abe Cabinet put aside the two heads’ request and decided to newly offer the GSDF Fukuchiyama camp for use by U.S. troops. At that point, the local governments were yet to determine whether they would accept the U.S. artillery live-fire training.

The Defense Ministry often proclaims that local consent and cooperation are necessary in terms of the hosting of military exercises. However, the ministry held only one brief meeting with area residents.

On this point, a Kyoto local daily reported that: Japan met the U.S. demand ahead of gaining local understanding; the decision could destroy a trusting relationship with Kyoto; and the DM act has increased a sense of mistrust even among senior officials of the Kyoto prefectural government.

Kyoto’s peace and democratic organizations as well as local trade unions in addition to Japanese Communist Party local assemblypersons soon demanded that the state, the prefecture, and the city prioritize citizens over the U.S. forces and request the U.S. to stop its live fire exercises in Kyoto.

Past related article:
> Residents near US radar base complain of low-frequency noise [February 27, 2015]
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