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Part of Camp Zama to be returned on Feb. 29

  • 2016-02-19 15:00:00
  • , Kanagawa Shimbun
  • Translation

(Kanagawa Shimbun: February 18, 2016 – p. 22)

 

 Zama City announced on Feb. 17 that 5.4 hectares of land on the U.S. Army’s Camp Zama will be formally returned on Feb. 29. The announcement confirms that the general hospital under construction on part of the land (1.5 hectares) to be returned will be opened on April 1 as scheduled. A general hospital will be built on the returned land.

 

 The Defense Ministry notified the city of the formal date of return in the consultative meeting on Feb. 17. Mayor Mikio Endo told the press including Kanagawa Shimbun: “We have been able to substantiate measures to reduce the time for reducing the base burden to as little as seven years since the initial talks on the base return. Everything went very smoothly.”

 

 According to the city, the base housing improvement project at the Sagamihara area the (south part of Sagamihara City), which was a condition for the return of the land, was completed in January. The housing was formally transferred to the U.S. military on Feb. 8.

 

 The return of a portion of Camp Zama is in accord with the realignment of the U.S. Forces Japan bilaterally agreed on in 2006. The land scheduled to be returned this time accounts for 2.3% of the total area in the agreement. Besides the general hospital, the city plans to construct a municipal fire department headquarters (0.5 hectare), a park (1.0 hectare), and a family housing for the Ground Self-Defense Force members (2.0 hectares).

 

 In October 2014, the city obtained from the U.S. military temporary permission to use the land scheduled to be returned and began constructing the general hospital. The completion ceremony for the hospital is scheduled for March 26.

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