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New military range is finished, but no training is taking place

Date Posted: 2005-07-09

The new Army Range Training Complex at Camp Hansen is complete, and has been certified by the Japanese Government.

To the surprise of many, military units have not begun using the range, which was given the operational green light late last month. Kin residents are still actively protesting the site, demanding it be shut down immediately.

An estimated 55 area residents from the Igei District, which includes Kin Town, have been at the site daily, just outside the fence separating them from the military encampment. This week they were joined by lawmaker Mitsuko Tomon, who joined in opposition to the training.

Special Forces troops were to have begun using the range early this month, but local reports indicate limited military presence, with only a couple of soldiers seen at a rappelling tower. No weapons training has taken place.

Next week opposition party lawmakers from both the Upper and Lower House will make inspection visits to Camp Hansen and the ATRAC.

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