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Three communities jointly protest of F-15 night flights

Date Posted: 2008-10-10

F-15 fighter jets took off on training missions from Kadena Air Base early Saturday, raising the ire of officials from Okinawa City, Kadena Town and Chatan Town.

A Kadena Town official measured the noise level at 94db as the planes began taking off at 2:10 a.m. Irate citizens and community leaders say 19 planes took off, shattering the night calm, but the Public Affairs Office at Kadena Air Base says only 12 planes were launched on training missions.

“I went to sleep early so I could wake up early,” says 75-year-old Tadayuki Matsuda of Chatan Town, “but the planes’ noise wouldn’t let us sleep.” Others complained the flights disturbed Kadena Town’s tranquility during its three-day Soukan Noguni Festival.

An estimated 70 protesters gathered Sunday outside “Kadena Michi no Eki”, the “Hill which can see the U.S.~Japan Security Treaty”. The site overlooks the Kadena runway. Shoji Matsuda, the community director for the Sunabe area, says “we’ve asked both countries not to fly so early in the morning, but they don’t listen to our voices at all.” He says this should be a problem addressed by all Japanese people, “and not only have it Kadena Town’s problem.”

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