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Gov’t implied foreign troops are allowed to join U.S. military activities in Japan

With regard to media reports that UK Royal Marines officers participated in the U.S. Marine Corps’ training at Camp Hansen in Okinawa, Social Democratic Party member Kantoku Teruya, a member of the House of Representatives, and Keiko Itokazu, a member of the House of Councillors, submitted written questions to the Cabinet.


In response, the government adopted on August 8 a written reply by a Cabinet decision saying all forms of participation by third country militaries are not necessarily prohibited by the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. In this way, the government implied that a third country may be allowed to participate in “U.S. military activities” conducted in Japan for purposes other than training.


Article 6 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty stipulates that the U.S. military shall be allowed to use facilities and areas of the U.S. forces Japan, but foreign troops other than U.S. troops “shall not be allowed” to use such facilities and areas for the purpose of training.


According to the written answer adopted by the Cabinet, however, the government indicated that whether foreign troops’ participation in the U.S. military activities in Japan falls under the framework of the article should be decided on a case-by-case basis.


As for the question of whether the Royal Marines officers actually participated in training at a U.S. military base in Okinawa, the government did not answer as it was “still waiting for an answer from the UK government.”

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