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NEWS | Feb. 21, 2020

U.S. Marine Corps Training at Hijudai complies with bilateral agreements

Yokota Air Base, Tokyo – U.S. Marines with the III Marine Expeditionary Force completed live-fire training at the Hijudai Maneuver Area, Oita Prefecture, Japan, on February 19, 2020 as part of the Artillery Relocation Training Program (ARTP).  The units involved complied with all bilateral agreements while scheduling and executing the training events.   

The Government of Japan, through negotiations with the U.S. in the Joint Committee regarding the ARTP, agreed to live-fire training with operating hours from seven a.m. to nine p.m. at Hijudai.  In the same agreement, Japan also supported live-fire training at the Yasubetsu and Ojojibara maneuver areas. The U.S. is committed to balancing the need for realistic training with the concerns of local communities.  In fact, this bilateral agreement, designed to reduce the training tempo in Okinawa, was reached at the 782nd Joint Committee held on July 3rd, 1997.   

According to Mr. Nathan Frost, U.S. Forces Japan Joint Committee Secretary, “Government-to-government agreements in Japan are all negotiated in the Joint Committee—a process that we have used successfully for more than 70 years.”

The Joint Committee is the highest-level, government-to-government coordination body between the U.S. and Japan. Agreements reached there are binding under the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security.

Mr. Frost added “It is regrettable that local arrangements are being confused with national-level agreements between governments. U.S. Forces Japan takes local concerns very seriously and if there are issues that need to be discussed at the Joint Committee, we are happy to consider them.  However, attempts to renegotiate existing agreements have to be done at the Joint Committee level and recent ARTP issues at Hijudai have simply never been raised there.”

The spokesman for U.S. Forces Japan, Lt. Col. Robert Firman, added “We strive to be good neighbors, while also working to maintain the readiness levels necessary to support the security of Japan and maintenance of regional peace and security.  I hope to see the concerns of local communities better reflected in discussions at the Joint Committee, but at the same time, once an agreement between two allied governments is reached, we fully expect the Government of Japan to explain to these communities why it supports ARTP and bilaterally agreed training.  This alliance is the cornerstone of peace and security in the region, and local understanding of these agreements is essential to what we do.” 




在日米軍司令部 報道資料20-003                       2020年2月21日

米海兵隊日出生台訓練 日米合意事項を遵守







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