Report: U.S. should allow Japan to use Yokota military air base for commercial flights
The Washington Post
By Chico Harlan, Oct 29, 2012 09:49 AM EDT - TOKYO — This city of 35 million says it badly needs a third airport to help it meet rising demand for passenger flights. And its officials think just the right airport already exists: a U.S. air base in the sprawling western suburbs, under the shadows of Mount Fuji.
Despite almost a decade of lobbying from Tokyo and the central government, Japan hasn't persuaded the United States to grant it partial use of Yokota Air Base. Talks stalled after a 2007 feasibility study raised the possibility of emergency-time chaos if the base were handling both military jets and commercial planes...
Yokota Air Force Base? "Under the shadows of Mt. Fuji"? Really?
Let us consult Google Maps...
Yellow - Mt. Fuji summit to Yokota Air Force Base = 70 km
Red - Mt. Fuji summit to Washington Post Tokyo Bureau = 96 km
Hell of an important 26 kilometers. Gets one right out of "the shadows" they do.
Okagesama de indeed.
Mr. Harlan, the relevant authority to which you should send your apologies is the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan. Should you want to present your apologies in person, its base is in Tsukuba. You might want to consult a map as to where that is before your departure.
My apologies to those desiring a more substantive post. The mendacious cliché just irked.
Later - Yes, I am going to let the "This city of 35 million" slide. That the population of the Tokyo Metropolitan District is just over 13 million is a technicality. I am not that persnickety.
Later still - I shudder at having to read the Center for A New American Security's report on joint civilian-military use of Yokota (Link). The ancillary effects of such a proposal -- construction of a modern civilian airport terminal and support facilities without affecting the operations of a major military base; the noise lawsuits that will be filed by local residents; the reaction in Okinawa (always negative, no matter what); the transiting through the base of millions of passengers (we are not talking Misawa in Aomori Prefecture, where the total number of commercial departures and arrivals per day at the joint military-civilian airport there is...six); the road and rail link upgrades -- they boggle the imagination.