USFJ won’t say if extra security in place at bases
TOKYO — U.S. military officials declined Saturday to discuss whether additional precautions are being taken at any U.S. bases in Japan in the wake of Japan’s move Friday to tighten security at U.S. facilities, airports, nuclear power plants and Japanese government facilities.
“We regularly work with national and local Japanese authorities to review, assess and respond to potential threats to our personnel and installations,” said Air Force Col. Victor Warzinski, a U.S. Forces Japan spokesman. “We value and welcome this support, but will refrain from discussing the details in the interest of maintaining an appropriate level of security.”
Japan reportedly tightened its security to its highest level since the U.S.-led war in Iraq in 2003.
It dispatched armed riot police to key facilities around Japan and increased the number of police forces in security and checkpoints at places such as U.S. military facilities, the U.S. Embassy, the prime minister’s residence and other government facilities. Tighter security also was ordered for ports, railway stations and shopping malls.
“As you recall,” Warzinski said, “Japan announced in mid-December that in view of its decision to dispatch Self Defense Forces to assist in the reconstruction of Iraq, it would also heighten security around some of its domestic facilities — including government buildings, airports, power plants and U.S. installations around Japan.”
Japan has sent troops to Iraq on a humanitarian mission in its largest deployment since World War II.
Last November, the al-Qaida terrorist network threatened to attack countries that supported the U.S.-led war in Iraq; Tokyo was named as a target were Japan to send troops to Iraq.