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Communist Party Rep. accuses U.S. of ignoring Y-plate parking laws

Date Posted: 2008-05-09

Japanese law requires owners to show proof they have legal parking spaces for their cars, but a Communist Party politician is charging the U.S. military with blatantly overlooking that law.

Tetsushi Inoue, a representative of the Communist Party of Japan and a member of the House of Councilors, says virtually none of the American military personnel with Y-plate licenses have the required registration permits required by law. He’s demanding an investigation by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism on how many vehicles owned by Americans have been registered with Japanese police. The law, he notes, requires all people living off base to register with local police stations, showing proof they have a legal parking spot.

Inoue says American leaders have not kept the promise made in 2004, when the requirement was instituted, that the U.S. military would comply. He says practically no Y-number plate vehicles are registered with Japanese police. The Ministry says more than 3,000 vehicles were registered with Y-plates during the January ~ March period, but only four Y-number plates have been recorded with police proving “Certification of Legal Parking Space, known as Shakoshomeisho in Japanese.

Every Japanese car owner is required to have a Shakoshomeisho, and Americans became liable under the rule in 2004. Communist party officials are upset at the non-compliance. “American military people living off base have lied to us,” a lawyer said. “They are operating against the law, and we must take strict action.” He says “if Y-plates don’t have the legal certifications to park off base, then they shouldn’t have a car.”

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