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OKINAWA CITY — The communities of Okinawa City and Chatan passed unanimous resolutions last week opposing plans to allow the Japan Air Self-Defense Force joint use of Kadena Air Base.

By opposing the plan made public Oct. 29 in a bilateral report on realigning U.S. troops in Japan, the two cities joined the prefectural government and five other Okinawa municipalities which have passed resolutions opposing parts of the realignment proposal.

The Okinawa City resolution noted that while realignment was “supposed to be reducing the burden while maintaining a deterrence power,” maintaining a deterrence “took priority … which is never acceptable.”

“If Kadena Air Base becomes a joint use air base … the situations surrounding the air base remains the same,” the resolution stated. “The realignment would be far from a reduction of the burden but, instead, would add to the burden and a growth in the base functions. As a result, residents in the communities surrounding the air base remain exposed to danger and fear.”

The Chatan Town Council’s resolution also said joint use would “lead to growth of the functions and permanent presence of the military base.” The council also voiced its opposition to part of the realignment plan that suggested closing most bases south of Kadena and consolidating the Marine bases to existing facilities in more rural northern Okinawa.

It “would do nothing but threaten the lives of residents of the neighboring communities where the base functions are to be moved,” the resolution stated. “Such an expansion of the military installations would damage the nature of Yambaru, the northern part of the island.”

The resolutions were addressed to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and other ministers.

Five other Okinawa municipalities — Naha, Nago, Kin, Kadena and Ginoza — and the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly have passed resolutions opposing the realignment plan, specifically the part of the proposal that calls for building a heliport to replace Marine Corps Air Station Futenma on part of Camp Schwab.


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