Problem areas near Yokosuka base to get security lights
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Super security lights — with police emergency buttons and cameras — are to be installed around Yokosuka’s Honch and Chuo station area this spring in an effort to cut crime around Yokosuka Naval Base.
Yokosuka’s city assembly Friday approved paying to install eight security lights around the base, said Takehito Akimoto, city military base division chief. The move was recommended by a safety measures committee formed after the Jan. 3 robbery and murder of Yokosuka woman Yoshie Sato, 56; a USS Kitty Hawk sailor was convicted of the crime.
The committee, made up of community association leaders and city, police and Navy officials, patrolled the area and saw the need for street lights in certain places, Akimoto said. This includes the Honch entertainment district and Yonegahama shopping street near Yokosuka Chuo station where Sato was killed, Akimoto said.
The lights — used in other Japanese cities — come equipped with an emergency button on the light pole that connects to the police station and a camera that can record for a two-day span.
Installing the lights will cost an estimated 69.5 million yen (about $590,000), which the city hopes to fund through Defense Facilities Administration Agency grants, Akimoto said. Plans are for the lights to be on by the end of March, he said.
The Navy’s role in the light program will be to help translate directions for their use into English so base residents also can use them, Akimoto said.
Yokosuka Naval Base commander Capt. Greg Cornish said he was “pleased” with the city’s investment in this type of system. “Efforts like this continue improving safety for both Japanese and U.S. citizens,” Cornish said. “We will continue our own robust shore patrols to ensure we are strongly aiding public safety efforts.”