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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 July 13 - 19  > US live-fire drills so far burned 3,796 ha in Okinawa
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2016 July 13 - 19 [US FORCES]

US live-fire drills so far burned 3,796 ha in Okinawa

July 13, 2016
Live-fire training exercises by the U.S. military in Okinawa have caused 588 fires, burning 3,796 hectares in total since the 1972 Okinawan reversion to Japan.

The governor’s office chief reported these figures to Japanese Communist Party assemblyperson Kayo Sogi during an Okinawa Prefectural Assembly session on July 11.

Kayo took up the fact that the Headquarters of U.S. Forces Japan on the Internet uses the number of its facilities in Japan and not the total land area it occupies in Japan to state that “Okinawa’s actual share of U.S. bases is 39%”, not 75% . He singled out the USFJ for trying to understate Okinawa’s base burdens.

Governor Onaga Takeshi in response to Kayo’s point said, “I deeply regret to say that the 39% does not properly reflect the actual situation in Okinawa which has long been forced to bear excessively heavy base burdens.”

The governor’s office head again told the JCP assemblyperson that Okinawa currently hosts 14 U.S. military training facilities occupying 15,968 ha of land. The official added that U.S. live-ammunition exercises and disposal of used ammunition have been causing various problems such as excessive noise and vibration, forest fires, red clay outflow, and numerous environmental concerns.

The U.S. military claims itself to be a “good neighbor” to Japan. However, in the case of the rape and murder of a local woman by a former U.S. marine in May, Kayo pointed out that the USFJ actually uses this “Good Neighbor” policy as a diversion from crimes committed by U.S. personnel.

Governor Onaga in reply said, “Publishing such misleading information and basically ignoring misdeeds fall far short of being ‘good neighbors’.”

Past related articles:
> USFJ on Facebook: it is ‘misperception’ that Okinawa hosts 74% of US bases in Japan[June 30, 2016]
> 65,000 Okinawans mourn rape victim[June 20, 2016]
> US military far cry from being ‘good neighbors’: Okinawa governor[February 14, 2015]
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