Okinawa Times wrote that the towns of Kadena and Chatan and the city of Okinawa lodged a protest with the Defense Ministry’s Okinawa bureau on Wednesday over the U.S. military’s parachute drop drills conducted at Kadena AB on May 21 and two other times earlier this year. According to the paper, the municipalities requested that the U.S. military comply with the SACO Final Report, in which the United States agreed to relocate parachute drop training to Ie Jima Auxiliary Airfield, and clarify what constitutes “special cases” where such training can take place at Kadena. MOD bureau chief Tanaka reportedly told the local leaders that the ministry will continue to ask the U.S. side to conduct the training on Ie Jima in line with the SACO report. Concerning the definition of “special cases,” while citing poor weather conditions as an example, the bureau chief reportedly said that it is necessary to decide where to conduct drills on a case-by-case basis.
The leaders of the municipalities also lodged a protest with the defense bureau over recent drunk driving and other incidents involving U.S. airmen and a civilian worker attached to Kadena AB. According to the paper, four such incidents happened in the four-day period from May 23 through 26. Kadena Mayor Toyama reportedly said that it is excessive for persons affiliated with the U.S. military to be arrested almost daily, expressing doubt over whether discipline is being properly enforced. Ryukyu Shimpo ran a similar report.