Japan's Okinawa protests U.S. military's parachute training

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-30 22:01:37|Editor: xuxin
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TOKYO, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- Okinawa on Wednesday protested to the central government over U.S. forces using Kadena Air Base in Japan's southernmost prefecture for parachute training.

The Okinawa prefectural government believes that U.S. forces using Kadena for parachute drills is in violation of a bilateral agreement that states that such exercises should be conducted on Iejima, a remote island off Okinawa.

"We cannot help but feel strong resentment because the Kadena base has been continuously used for parachute training," Deputy Okinawa Governor Kiichiro Jahana told Japanese foreign and defense ministry officials at the prefectural government building.

In protest to the drills, Jahana on Wednesday had summoned Japanese defense and foreign ministry officials to voice his staunch displeasure and concern over the ongoing issue.

"There has been growing mistrust among people in Okinawa," Jahana also said at the meeting.

In violation of a 1996 bilateral agreement inked between Japan and the United States that states that such parachute drills be carried out on Iejima, U.S. forces carried out a parachute drop at the Kadena base on Okinawa's main island on Tuesday night.

The latest training drill marks the fourth time this year that such drills have been held in locations outside the stipulations in the 1996 bilateral agreement, with the latest exercise involving 20 U.S. military personnel parachuting down to the Kadena base by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, according to the prefectural government.

Further inflaming the incident, earlier Tuesday two U.S. paratroopers landed off-target in a village on private land, 600 meters from a private residence in the village of Ie, which now plans to lodge its own complaint.

Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki said the parachute drop at Kadena was "a clear violation of the accord" and that the prefectural government's repeated calls for the exercises to be stopped were being ignored by the U.S. side.