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USFJ officer expresses support for allowing civilian aircraft to use Yokota base if requested

U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) Deputy Commander Christopher Mahoney (U.S. Marine Corps brigadier general) said on April 22, “If the Japanese government asks for ‘dual use’ of the Yokota base and other facilities,” which would allow civilian aircraft to temporarily use the Yokota base (Tokyo) for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, “We will provide 100 percent support.” He was speaking to media outlets including the Asahi Shimbun at a press conference held on the base.


Air traffic will be congested during the Olympics at the Narita and Haneda airports. In order to increase the number of takeoffs and landings, some Japanese government officials hope for “dual use” of the base, allowing civilian airplanes to temporarily use its runway for groups of Olympic athletes and others. 


“No decisions have been made about dual use of Yokota or any other facility [in Japan] under the Status of Forces Agreement for civilian airplanes,” said Deputy Commander Mahoney. He also disclosed that Japanese and American working-level officials are discussing how the USFJ can cooperate with the Japanese government for the Olympics.

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