From Fri Feb 2 08:29:04 2001
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2001 22:05:04 -0600 (CST)
From: Michael Eisenscher <>
Subject: Effects of U.S. War Practice on Japan
Article: 114315
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

From: Japan Press Service[]
Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2001 9:41 AM
Subject: JPS20010131-1

U.S. forces' touch-and-go exercise must end: Akahata

Japan Press Service, 31 January 2001

TOKYO JAN 31 JPS—Akahata's editorial of January 31 said five city mayors' demand that the U.S. forces end their nighttime touch-and-goes is a national demand for which the Japanese government must work immediately. The full text of the editorial is as follows:

The mayors of five cities, Misawa (Aomori), Fussa (Tokyo), Yamato, Ayase (Kanagawa), and Iwakuni (Yamaguchi) had a meeting and agreed to take concerted action to keep on demanding that the U.S. Forces stop their touch-and-go exercises called night-landing practice (NLP).

Affected by the neighboring U.S. bases, the five cities many times have asked the U.S. Forces and the Japanese government for a halt to the exercises, but no change for the better has taken place. Last year the U.S. Forces carried out most of the planned NLPs on the U.S. bases at Misawa, Yokota and Atsugi, and Iwakuni in Japan's main island, instead of the designated Iwojima island in the Pacific.

The five mayors were meeting for the first time in response to the growing anger and suffering of residents, who complain about being unable to sleep at night, study for exams, and watch TV.

It's a national call, not partisan

Damage is not limited to these five cities. These prefectures with U.S. bases—Aomori, Tokyo, Kanagawa, and Yamaguchi—and cities and towns nearby U.S. bases are protesting about NLPs. The association comprising 14 prefectures hosting U.S. bases, including Tokyo, is demanding an end to NLPs.

Japan is the only country in the world that allows foreign military aircraft to carry out nighttime training for touch-and-goes using base runways as a substitute for an aircraft-carrier's deck, overhead densely-populated residential areas in complete disregard of residents' safety. Such things never take place in the U.S.

Courts have ruled that noise from U.S. military aircraft stands at illegal condition, as it exceeds a bearable limit. Should the Japanese people undergo such suffering in the interests of foreign military forces?

The U.S. forces started the NLP in 1973 when Yokosuka Port began to serve as a homeport for U.S. aircraft carriers. Today, a quarter century after that, the extraordinary condition remains.

This situation contradicts the Japanese government promise for homeporting to be limited to approximately three years and the U.S. promise by the then commander at the Atsugi base not to conduct touch-and-goes as he had promised to residents.

The U.S. forces have broken their own promise and continue NLPs in disregard of protests from residents and local governments because the Japanese government allows them to do so.

When public anger at NLPs rose to the point where Yamato City and Misawa City announced a halt to friendship exchanges with the U.S. Forces last September, Foreign Minister Kono Yohei only asked U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen to take into account local residents' feelings in order to conduct the exercises smoothly. What Kono wanted the U.S. was to carry out the exercises without troubles, not to end them. Praising the Japanese people for their patience, Cohen stressed that NLPs would be continued.

What did Japan's government do to deal with the lawsuit Japanese residents filed demanding a halt to U.S. aircraft nighttime flights? It argued that the lawsuit should be dismissed because the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty allows the U.S. to maintain their bases in Japan.

Conducting such exercises on the densely populated areas is not allowed even under the Security Treaty. The treaty only gives the U.S. Forces the right to manage their bases, but in 1960 the government explained in the Diet discussing the Security Treaty that U.S. bases do not have extraterritorial rights; they have to obey Japanese laws.

Japan's government is using the Security Treaty as an excuse, but it provides no legal justification of NLPs which are threatening residents' lives. This is why a halt to the NLPs represents the general will of the Japanese people, even though there are differences over the Security Treaty.

Keep the promise, obey the law, and stop NLPs!

The Japanese Communist Party is calling for the abolition of the Security Treaty, and urgently calling on the U.S. Forces to end NLPs. To stop U.S. Forces' arbitrary action is a matter of great urgency.

Japan's government has the duty to push the U.S. Forces to keep the promise of three-year use limit they made when they began to use the Yokosuka port as their carrier's homeport, to obey the Japanese laws, and stop NLPs.

The U.S. should keep its promise and immediately stop NLPs. As long as they continue to act in violation of their promise and the Japanese laws and to impose unbearable hardships on the Japanese people, there could be no friendship between Japan and the U.S. Only distrust and friction will grow between the two peoples.