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Miyakojima objects to U.S. plan for delivering band

Date Posted: 2010-09-09

A good will concert by the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet Band is in jeopardy as the Miyakojima mayor and others are calling for its cancellation over the way the military plans to take the band members to the southern Okinawa Prefecture island.

The concert is re-scheduled for Dec. 12, after having been cancelled a week ago due to Typhoon Kompasu, and now local labor unions and some other groups are protesting the Navy’s planned use of a military aircraft to carry the band and its instruments and equipment to Miyakojima. “We just want to listen to great music,” the mayor says, “and we are looking forward to listening,” but he says the Navy should use a civilian aircraft for the flight from mainland Japan to the tiny island.

Miyakojima City’s labor union and some citizen groups are totally against even having the concert take place. “Miyakojima Airport is to be used only for civilian planes, and not military planes, so the concert should be cancelled too,” says the workers union representative. While Mayor Shimoji doesn’t like the idea of a U.S. military aircraft using his local airport, he says he won’t cancel the concert.

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