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US moves fighter, artillery training to ease Japan noise complaints

U.S. Marines conduct live-fire drills at Camp Fuji, Japan, in 2011. To deal with noise complaints, fighter-jet and artillery training will move off U.S. bases in Japan this year, the nation's Ministry of Defense announced this week.

JOHN KENNICUT/U.S. MARINE CORPS PHOTO

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 6, 2016

Fighter-jet and artillery training is moving off U.S. bases in Japan to ease the noise burden on surrounding communities.

Approximately 10 training events involving fighters assigned to Kadena Air Base on Okinawa and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and Misawa Air Base on mainland Japan will relocate to Japan Air Self-Defense Force bases at Chitose, Misawa, Hyakuri, Komatsu, Tsuiki, New Tabaru, Japan’s Ministry of Defense announced this week.

The moves, stemming from agreements reached between the U.S. and Japan in the late 1990s, are planned each year.

Live-fire training that had been planned for Okinawa Marines in mid-May is moving to the Japan Self-Defense Force Ojojibara training area in Miyagi prefecture. That training — which involves a company of Marines, 60 vehicles and six howitzers — will run May 13-22. Artillery is scheduled for eight training days.

“The relocation of training sites is to improve interoperability and to mitigate noise impacts on communities surrounding military air bases including Kadena, a ministry statement said.

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