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SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Five local political and peace groups urged Sasebo city officials Wednesday to oppose this weekend’s visit by the USS Ronald Reagan, according to a city official.

As residents of Japan’s Nagasaki district, which was hit with a nuclear bomb in 1945, the groups asked that the nuclear-powered carrier be prohibited from anchoring near Sasebo.

Sasebo Deputy Mayor Kenji Nishino told the groups the city has no intention of opposing the visit because the Reagan is to be in waters provided for the base, according to Setsuo Kuga, chief of the city’s Base Affairs Division.

Nishino also told the groups Sasebo will take all possible measures to monitor radiation, Kuga said.

The Reagan is scheduled to anchor off Sasebo this weekend. The carrier and its strike group are in the area as a temporary replacement for the USS Kitty Hawk, now undergoing routine maintenance at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan.

Also on Wednesday, Kuga said, city officials met with Sasebo Naval Base officials to urge maintaining order as thousands of sailors are expected to debark this weekend.

According to Kuga, the base officials said the servicemembers have been reminded, through telephone and e-mails, to respect the city.

A base spokesman said Thursday the sailors have been urged to act responsibly. He said the past three carrier visits to Sasebo have resulted in no harmful incidents.

Stars and Stripes reporter Teri Weaver contributed to this story.

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