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Tokyo’s Minato Ward makes a fresh request for removal of U.S. heliport in Roppongi

  • February 9, 2018
  • , Asahi , p. 27
  • JMH Translation

On Feb. 8, Tokyo’s Minato Ward municipal office and the ward’s assembly submitted to the Ministry of Defense and the Tokyo metropolitan government a petition calling for the early return of a U.S. military heliport located in the center of the Roppongi district. They make the request every year around this time, but following a series of incidents involving U.S. military helicopters in Okinawa Prefecture, they conveyed the concerns of people in the neighborhood again.


The heliport is located in downtown. The petition points out that “people living in the neighborhood constantly suffer from noise and worry about the occurrence of accidents.” The emergency landing of a U.S. military helicopter in flames, which happened in Higashi Village in Okinawa last October, and the fall of a window frame and  unscheduled landings involving U.S. military aircraft are “creating anxiety among residents, who fear a similar incident may happen at any time.”


The Minato municipal office and its assembly made a fresh petition to the MOD to remove the heliport facility as soon as possible and to urge the U.S. to take measures to prevent similar accidents from happening again. They also called on the metropolitan government to support the early removal.


The MOD commented: “The heliport is the U.S. military’s only facility in the metropolitan area that enables the quick transportation of key government officials. We appreciate your understanding of the difficulty of realizing the early return. We will continue to ask the U.S. side to operate the facility in a way to minimize the impact on residents and take other appropriate measures.” (Abridged)

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