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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 August 2 - 8  > JCP in Hokkaido Assembly urges governor not to accept Osprey flight drills
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2017 August 2 - 8 [US FORCES]

JCP in Hokkaido Assembly urges governor not to accept Osprey flight drills

August 3, 2017
The Japanese Communist Party Hokkaido Prefectural Assembly members’ group on August 2 urged the governor to oppose the U.S. forces’ plan to conduct Osprey flight training drills in the prefecture.

The U.S. Marine Corps and the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force will conduct joint military training exercises, the largest-scale exercise of this kind ever, at three training fields in Hokkaido from August 10 to August 28.

In a meeting with prefectural government officials on the day, the JCP assembly members’ group head Mashita Noriko referred to a recent news report that the U.S. military intends to conduct flight training drills of Osprey aircraft in the night time, which has never happened in the past Japan-U.S. joint military exercises in Hokkaido. Mashita stressed that local residents are deepening their concern over a possible crash of the accident-prone tilt-rotor aircraft. She demanded that the prefectural government provide more information on the planned Osprey drills.

In reply, an official said that the Defense Ministry’s local bureau informed the prefectural government of Ospreys’ participation in the joint exercises, but the prefecture has no further details.

Mashita criticized the prefectural government for failing to gain relevant information. She stated that if Governor Takahashi Harumi accepts the Osprey night time flight drills, it will pave the way for frequent drills. The JCP assembly person said that the prefectural government should take necessary measures to protect residents’ safety and livelihoods.

Mashita also mentioned another news report that the U.S. forces aim to use civilian airports in Hokkaido for the Osprey flight drills. She said that the military aircraft should be kept away from civilian airports.
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