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Parachute Drop Training at Kadena Air Base (Protest)

Brigadier General Joel L. Carey
Commander
18th Wing
Kadena Air Base

Parachute Drop Training at Kadena Air Base (Protest)

The U.S. Forces conducted parachute drop training at Kadena Air Base on October 29, 2019, which marks the fourth time this year.

The Okinawa Prefectural Government believes that parachute drop training should be rigidly conducted in accordance with the intent of the SACO final report which stipulates the reduction of our burden of hosting the U.S. bases in Okinawa. Therefore, we have been strongly calling for suspension of parachute drop training at Kadena Air Base a number of times.

Nevertheless, the number of parachute drop trainings at Kadena Air Base of this year has already exceeded the number of 2017 which was the year that recorded the highest number of the training in a year alone after the SACO agreement. Considering that this year’s training is conducted more frequently than 2017, we must say that parachute drop training at the base has virtually become a common practice and we cannot contain our indignation against it.

Distrust of the U.S. Forces has been growing among the people of Okinawa due to the U.S. Forces’ attitude, conducting parachute drop training at Kadena Air Base repeatedly on the grounds of climate or nautical conditions around Ie Auxiliary Airfield and utterly disregarding requests and protests by the Okinawa Prefectural Government and the local municipalities. It is our sincere concern that such operation will have an impact on the use of Kadena Air Base and consequently on the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements as well in the future.

Therefore, we strongly protest against the parachute drop training at Kadena Air Base and firmly request not to conduct such training at the air base in the future.

Denny Tamaki
Governor of Okinawa Prefecture

Note: This document has been translated from the Japanese original for reference purposes only. In the event of any discrepancy between this translated document and the Japanese original, the original shall prevail.