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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 September 7 - 13  > USMC Jungle Warfare Training Center has nothing to do with Japan’s defense: JCP Okinawa local assembly person
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2016 September 7 - 13 [US FORCES]

USMC Jungle Warfare Training Center has nothing to do with Japan’s defense: JCP Okinawa local assembly person

September 8, 2016
The Abe government is pushing forward with the construction of U.S. military helipads in the Takae district in Okinawa’s Higashi Village under the pretext that Japan needs the U.S. military presence as deterrence. These helipads are affiliated with the U.S. Marine Corps Northern Training Area. In the first place, what kind of role does this facility play?

Japanese Communist Party member of the Higashi Village Assembly Isa Masatsugu in late July along with his seven colleagues visited the training field which is the only USMC Jungle Warfare Training Center outside the U.S. Guided by a USMC first lieutenant, they watched training drills at the facility which trains 8,000 servicemen a year in jungle warfare tactics. The JCP assemblymember said to Akahata that the visit made him once again realize that the U.S. Marine Corps in Okinawa is a forward-based assault force having nothing to do with the defense of Japan.

In the guided tour, Isa saw a group of small wooden houses built in a Third World country setting. Isa spotted armed servicemen in those houses and sensed a warlike atmosphere.

The JCP lawmaker learned that the training center has other similar village or hamlet settings. This clearly indicates that marines are being trained for operations in regions other than Japan or the U.S., he pointed out. Isa quoted the guide as saying that during the Iraq War, the USMC at the facility gave its personnel 1,800 military exercises in ten years before sending them to Iraq.

Isa noted that he saw a beautiful natural environment through the windows of a second-floor room in a barracks at the training area. He criticized the U.S. military for using the precious natural tropical forest environment for warfare training.

Isa stressed that he and local residents in Takae have been working for ten years to block the helipad construction to protect people’s livelihoods and the natural environment. He expressed his determination to achieve the cancellation of the construction plan in order to prevent his village from being turned into a village surrounded by a make-believe battlefield.
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