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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 September 20 - 26  > 40 years since US military aircraft crash killed 3 residents in Yokohama
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2017 September 20 - 26 [US FORCES]

40 years since US military aircraft crash killed 3 residents in Yokohama

September 24, 2017
Forty years have passed since the crash of a U.S. military aircraft, killing three civilians in Yokohama City in Kanagawa Prefecture. A rally took place on September 23 in the city to remember and pass on the story of the tragedy so that the same tragedy will not recur.

Along with about 500 participants, Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Hatano Kimie, JCP Kanagawa prefectural assemblypersons, and JCP Yokohama City assemblypersons took part in the event hosted by a citizens’ organization.

On September 27 forty years ago, a U.S. fighter Phantom jet crashed into flames in a Yokohama residential area. Two homes were burned to the ground, three homes partially burned, and two small brothers and their mother were killed.

The organizer, Yoshiike Toshiko, pointed out that the risk of accidents due to the presence of the U.S. Atsugi base in the prefecture has not changed at all.

Sekimori Makiko, a lawyer of the legal team of an Atsugi noise pollution lawsuit, said, “I’d like the government to face up to the unreasonable reality giving priority to the U.S. forces over civilians. Taking this incident as my own experience to heart, I’ll do my best to win a residents’ victory in the court battle.”

A young participant said, “Our duty is to keep the memory of this tragedy from fading away and to stand up to protect the pacifist Constitution renouncing war and threats of war.”

A 76-year-old woman looked back on the tragedy and said, “At that time, sirens went off in our neighborhood nonstop. I still feel that it was not someone else’s story because the same thing could happen to me as well.”
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