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SECURITY > Okinawa

Local gov’t prohibits media from using rest stop observatory to monitor Kadena AB operations

  • January 25, 2022
  • , Okinawa Times
  • JMH Translation

Okinawa Times wrote that the government of the town of Kadena prohibited the media on Monday from using an observation deck located on the fourth floor of a new building at a roadside rest station in the town that was opened to the public on Jan. 14. The paper wrote that people connected to the media have regularly visited the observatory to monitor operations at Kadena AB because they can see the base’s runways from there. According to the municipal government, some citizens have filed complaints, saying that people connected to the media have occupied the space for a long time, and it has confirmed that at least five of them have stayed there for several hours. The local government said it gave consideration to the concerns of general users because the rest facility exists to promote local tourism and economic activities. The municipal government also said it will ban the use of the observatory on the fourth floor of the old building at the facility starting in April but will set up a space for the media on the third floor of the same building, stressing that it has no intention to limit news-gathering activities. However, the paper quoted a scholar as saying that the municipal government should allow everyone to use the facility, including for news gathering, and that limiting activities to monitor base operations is problematic because it could infringe on the Okinawa people’s right to know.

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