Stop the moves to strengthen U.S. military bases in Japan!: JCP Shii

Japanese Communist Party Executive Committee Chair Shii Kazuo held a news conference on October 28 in Tokyo to call for a major national struggle to stop the extraordinary plan to turn Japan into a nation structured on U.S. military bases.

Shii stated this in response to the increasing moves to strengthen the function of U.S. military bases in Okinawa and Kanagawa prefectures.

Concerning the construction of a new U.S. base in Okinawa, Shii pointed out that a majority of Okinawans, including the Okinawa governor and the Nago City mayor, are opposing the construction plan.

Criticizing the government for trying to transfer the governor's authority to approve coastal reclamation for the construction of the new base to the government, Shii said, "I cannot but ask which country does this government represent? I cannot suppress my anger. This high-handedness reminds me of the Hashimoto Cabinet's expropriation of Okinawans' land by legislating the special measures law. We must stop this."

Shii warned that the deployment of a U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to Yokosuka Port in Kanagawa agreed upon by the Japanese and U.S. governments will cause serious problems to people's lives, and predicted the following three points: With the deployment of a state-of-the-art nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, Yokosuka Port will be permanently used as the only overseas homeport for a U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier; the port will be a stronghold of the U.S. global strike force; and if Yokosuka Port becomes the homeport of a U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, it will house a carrier with a large nuclear reactor for six months of each year in the Tokyo area inhabited by 30 million people.

Shii pointed out that the nuclear reactor of a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is as large as the No.1 reactor of the Mihama Nuclear Power Plant, and that chances of radioactive accidents, including leakage of radioactivity and contamination caused by radioactive wastes will increase. He said, "It is unacceptable from the aspect of the safety of people's lives."

Shii concluded his statement by expressing determination to further increase the struggle to stop the move toward strengthening the functions of U.S. bases in Japan, working in close solidarity with other nationwide struggles, in particular with the struggle in Okinawa, the struggle against the relocation of the U.S. Army 1st Corps to the U.S. Camp Zama in Kanagawa, and the struggle against the relocation of the U.S. Navy air wing's touch-and-go exercises to the U.S. Iwakuni base in Yamaguchi.

-- Akahata, October 29, 2005

The Central Committee of the Japanese Communist Party
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