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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 July 20 - 26  > Use of school events for promoting US forces in Japan is unacceptable
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2016 July 20 - 26 [US FORCES]

Use of school events for promoting US forces in Japan is unacceptable

July 20, 2016
The U.S. Forces Japan on its homepage posted a series of photos of an event called “boot camp” targeting junior high school students. It appears that the U.S. military used the photos to advertise its “good” relations with local residents, Akahata reported on July 20.

It is the U.S. Yokota Air Base’s official website where the photos in question were published.

According to the Yokota AB website, U.S. servicemen stationed at the base on July 2 took part in an annual festival at a public junior high school in Musashimurayama City which hosts the Yokota base. Those U.S. soldiers carried out an event named “mini boot camp obstacle course” and taught 30 third-year students how to apply camouflage face paint and salute in addition to basic military training like crawling to avoid injury in battle.

The U.S. Yokota base is located in a western suburb of Tokyo, stretching over six municipalities including Musashimurayama. Residents of these six municipalities have been suffering from the noise emitted by U.S. military aircraft and anxieties over possible accidents. Schools have also been exposed to noise pollution and the risk of accidents.

In the first place, to harmonize a military presence with people’s daily lives is impossible. Apparently, the U.S. forces in Japan have a similar view regarding relations between military bases and local residential communities. Based on this viewpoint, the U.S. military is enthusiastically promoting themselves at various occasions in order to reduce anti-base sentiment among local people in base-hosting municipalities. However, it is unforgivable for the U.S. forces to use school events to place their advertisements.

Past related articles:
> 270 US blank cartridges scattered around road [September 9 & 11, 2015]
> Noise pollution of military aircraft at US Yokota base increases [July 18, 2014]
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