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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 September 14 - 20  > US forces hold live-fire drills near World Heritage site of Mt Fuji
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2016 September 14 - 20 [US FORCES]

US forces hold live-fire drills near World Heritage site of Mt Fuji

September 14, 2016
The Okinawa-based U.S. Marine Corps on September 12 began live-fire drills at the foot of Mt Fuji, a UN World Heritage site.

The Defense Ministry has announced that the drills will take place from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. for nine days until September 22 at the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force training ground in Shizuoka Prefecture. About 430 U.S. servicemen will take part in the training exercises employing 12 155mm howitzers and various firearms.

A local peace group, consisting of various civic organizations such as the Shizuoka Prefectural Peace Committee opposing U.S. military drills near Mt Fuji, started monitoring the drills on this day.

The group recorded 193 rounds of mortar fire on the first day. They heard continuous gunfire echoing across the training field and witnessed explosive flares in the foothills of Mt. Fuji. The group said that the U.S. military probably fired white phosphorous shells.

A local peace group member, Watanabe Masatoshi, said, “It is extraordinary to hear so much gunfire from day one. In addition, the U.S. military used two types of white phosphorous munitions. Given that the drills are conducted in real battle field settings, I feel that the SDF is preparing to be involved in U.S.-led wars under the authority of the war legislation. ”

Past related articles:
> US live-fire drills so far burned 3,796 ha in Okinawa [July 13, 2016]
> U.S. Marines use white phosphorus in Hijudai [March 3, 2010]

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