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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 January 9 - 15  > JCP Tokyo protests against accidents during parachute drills at US Yokota base
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2019 January 9 - 15 [US FORCES]

JCP Tokyo protests against accidents during parachute drills at US Yokota base

January, 10, 2019

The Japanese Communist Party Tokyo Metropolitan Assemblymembers’ Group on January 9 urged the metropolitan government to demand a halt to parachute landing drills at the U.S. Yokota base.

At the Yokota base, parachute training exercises involving C-130 transport aircraft started on January 8. On the first and second days, two similar accidents happened in which one of the jumpers had a trouble in opening the main parachute, jettisoned it, and used the spare parachute to make a landing.

In response to the accidents, the JCP group lodged a protest with the Tokyo governor. The JCP lawmakers criticized the U.S. military in Japan for carrying out parachute landing drills in densely-populated areas, a practice which is prohibited in the U.S.

The assemblymembers pointed out that the metropolitan government should urge the central government and the U.S. military to look into the cause of the accidents and inform local municipalities of the findings. They also demanded that parachute drills at the U.S. Yokota base be banned.

A Tokyo official in charge of U.S. base issues said that it is highly regrettable that the same kind of an accident happened again when the metropolitan and relevant municipal governments were requesting the U.S. military to investigate the January 8 accident and suspend the parachute drills until the cause of the accident is determined.

***

A civil group working to achieve the closure of the Yokota base, which consists of residents living near the base, on January 9 submitted to the local bureau of the Defense Ministry a petition demanding a halt to parachute training exercises at the Yokota base. The petition is addressed to the U.S. military in Japan and Japan’s Defense Ministry.

Past related articles:
> US Forces in Japan conduct parachute drills in populated areas in contrast to parachute training in US [April 25, 2018]
> US military parachute falls on junior high school grounds in Tokyo [April 11 and 12, 2018]
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