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Additional Aegis cruiser to be deployed to Yokosuka

  • 2015-01-20 15:00:00
  • , Kanagawa Shimbun
  • Translation

(Kanagawa Shimbun: January 17, 2015 – p.1)


 The U.S. Navy announced on Jan. 16 that USS Chancellorsville (CG-62), a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser equipped with an anti-submarine warfare system, will be deployed to Yokosuka base (Yokosuka City) by this summer. The U.S. Navy had already announced last October that two Aegis cruisers will be deployed to the base by the summer of 2017. In response to the successive announcements, Yokosuka City Mayor Yuto Yoshida expressed displeasure by saying: “The way the U.S. Navy provided the city with the information was not proper. I must raise an objection.”


 According to the announcement, “The deployment is part of the navy’s long-term plan for dispatching one of the most advanced and capable units to the Asia-Pacific region.” Chancellorsville will sail from its homeport of San Diego for Yokosuka this summer. Two more Aegis cruisers with ballistic missile defense (BMD) capability will arrive at the base in August of this year and in July 2017. With these deployments, the number of the U.S. Navy vessels homeported at Yokosuka will total a record 14.


 Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the Defense Ministry visited Yokosuka City on Jan. 16 to report the additional deployment to the mayor. Kimitake Nakamura, head of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) Office, explained: “The security environment surrounding Japan and East Asia is becoming increasingly severe; the deployments will contribute to the peace and stability of Japan and the region.”


 Although Mayor Yoshida indicated understanding for the deployments, he expressed displeasure “The information was provided in two different forms in a short period.”

 In order to assess the direct impact of the deployments on the city, the municipal government made an inquiry in writing in November last year to the Defense Ministry about scale of the deployment in personnel and whether the vessels can moor within the base. The city has yet to receive answers


 Two Aegis cruisers will be deployed to the Yokosuka base this summer. Their complements alone will increase the population of the base by 700 people. With the issue of housing in mind, Mayor Yoshida requested that “the overall picture be clarified as soon as possible.”


 Masahiko Goto, a lawyer and co-representative of the group “Citizens for considering the homeporting of a nuclear carrier at Yokosuka,” said: “(The deployments) represent a large-scale expansion of the base. It is unacceptable as the deployments are against the wishes of residents who long for the base reduction and return.”

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