On April 22, U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) Deputy Commander Christopher Mahoney indicated that he supports allowing USFJ Yokota Air Base (straddling Fussa and other municipalities in Tokyo) to be used temporarily by both military and civilian aircraft during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. “If requested, we are prepared to implement this one hundred percent,” he said in an interview with the Nikkei and other media outlets. Some in the Japanese government seek dual use of Yokota Base to increase the number of flights in and out of airports in the capital area.
Mr. Mahoney explained that administrative-level discussions are underway between the two countries on the necessary conditions for military-civilian use of the base airport, adding that “no decisions have been made.” He also said, “There is a view that dual use may be possible.”
Narita and Haneda Airports are expected to be packed with Japan-bound travelers during the Games. The Yokota Base is close to the city. It is hoped that allowing commercial aircraft to use the base airport would relieve the congestion.