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POLITICS

Sagamihara explosion: “One step forward,” Sagamihara City

  • 2015-08-27 15:00:00
  • , Kanagawa Shimbun
  • Translation

(Kanagawa Shimbun: August 26, 2015 – p.21)

 

 

 With respect to the explosions at a warehouse of the U.S. Army Sagamihara General Depot (Chuo Ward, Sagamihara City), the U.S. Army Garrison Japan (USAG-J) has decided to allow the city fire department to join the investigation into the cause, but there was no progress in the investigation conducted on August 25. The city office made a comment on the joint investigation conducted under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) as “one step forward.”

 A citizen’s group that monitors U.S. military activities made a positive comment on the joint investigation as “unprecedented.” However, the U.S. military still controls the overall investigation and further developments rest with the U.S. military.

 

 In response to the city’s request, the U.S. military unprecedentedly accepted to conduct the joint investigation. The city base affairs section analyzes the response by saying: “While calling for the total return of the base to Japan, the city has put efforts for promoting friendly relations with the base through cooperation in case of a disaster and community exchanges. It was paid off.”

 

 As for fire control, the city and the base fire departments have conducted joint drill in the depot two to three times a year through working-level meetings. When the explosion took place this time, the city’s fire department responded to the scene for fire-fighting upon request from the U.S. military. After the fire was brought under control, the city fire department entered the warehouse for examining the damage.

 

 The base commander has administrative authority of the base under the SOFA. Now that the U.S. side has accepted the joint investigation with the city office, the base affairs section believes no further actions by the city are necessary. (Abridged)

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