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Citizens’ reaction to Trump visit

President Donald Trump arrived for his Japan visit on Nov. 5. The Hibakusha campaigning for the eradication of nuclear arms, residents of Okinawa, where there have been a number of U.S. military aircraft accidents, Americans living in Japan, and others are all watching Trump from their own point of view.




Tomoyuki, Minomaki, 75, vice president of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organization of Hiroshima Prefecture, demands that Trump visit the atomic-bombed cities. Since Trump is reported to be keen on beefing up the U.S.’s nuclear capability, Minomaki voices concern that “this may affect the momentum for the eradication of nuclear arms.”


He is seriously worried by the continuing provocations between the leaders of the U.S. and North Korea amid the DPRK’s efforts to conduct nuclear tests.


Shigemitsu Tanaka, 77, leader of the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivors Council, asks Trump to “come into touch with the situation of the destruction in Nagasaki, the last atomic-bombed city, and take a step toward the elimination of nuclear arms.” He argues that “[the U.S.] should sign the Nuclear Arms Ban Treaty as its responsibility as a major nuclear power.”


Base-hosting community


Akira Matayoshi, 34, head of the Oyama district in Ginowan City, Okinawa, which is located next to the Futenma Air Station, calls on Trump to visit the city “to get to know how dangerous a military base right in the middle of the city is.” He commented on the crash of a U.S. military helicopter on private land in Higashi Village in October, saying: “If this had happened in a residential area, it would have been a major disaster that would have taken many lives.” He says that “nothing has changed” since a helicopter crashed on the campus of the Okinawa International University [next door to the Futenma base] in 2004 and that “operation of aircraft has resumed without determining the causes of accidents. Japan and the U.S. should hold discussions on how to ensure a safe living environment for the local residents.”


American residents in Japan


A female Japanese American university student in Tokyo, 20, asks that Trump “review his social welfare policies to benefit the generations of our children and grandchildren… I hope he will conduct politics with consideration for the position of the weak.”


A male employee of a major trading firm who has lived in Japan for four years, aged 45, suggests that “it is necessary to inform the Japanese people more about the U.S. forces’ activities.” He feels that the U.S. military’s explanation to the Japanese people of the helicopter crash in October was inadequate, pointing out that “this situation will only give them a worse impression of the U.S. military.” (Slightly abridged)

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