Masaaki Takei, mayor of Tokyo’s Minato Ward, and the ward’s assembly members called on the Tokyo metropolitan government office and the Defense Ministry on Feb. 6. They handed over a petition calling for the “Akasaka Press Center,” a U.S. military helicopter base located in the city’s Roppongi district, to be removed at an early date and returned.
Neighboring residents have been suffering from noise and feeling uneasy about the potential occurrence of accidents, so the ward’s authorities have annually been petitioning the Tokyo metropolitan government and the Defense Ministry since 2004. The mayor and assembly members called on the defense minister to have the base returned as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the Tokyo metropolitan government also uses the base as a heliport for medevacs. The mayor therefore asked Tokyo’s metropolitan governor to prevent the base from being used permanently and from expanding its functions.