Okinawa Times reported that in response to growing concerns over heightened military tension in the region as a result of House Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, Okinawa Governor Tamaki called on the governments of the United States, China, and Japan to respond in a level-headed manner and make efforts to engage in peace diplomacy. On China’s announcement that it will conduct military drills in areas surrounding Taiwan starting today, Governor Tamaki reportedly pointed out: “Tensions in the Asia Pacific region must not increase as a result of the U.S.-China conflict.” According to the daily, Tamaki refrained from assessing Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan itself. The paper added that Okinawa assembly members from Ishigaki, which is located close to Taiwan, are also calling for a relaxation of tensions.
In a related story, Ryukyu Shimpo reported that stepped up activities by U.S. and Chinese forces following House Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan are beginning to impact the lives of Okinawans in the form of increased noise pollution near U.S. bases and military exercises in surrounding waters. Okinawa Times also reported that many U.S. military airplanes arrived at Kadena AB from Aug. 2 to 3, due possibly to increasing military tension in the region following Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. The paper said that according to the Okinawa Defense Bureau, 21 KC135 refueling aircraft were parked at the base as of 4 p.m. on Aug. 3.