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2014年7月29日 (火)

(社説)オスプレイ移転 選挙目当てで済ますな

July 26, 2014
EDITORIAL: Osprey redeployment plan should be more than a vote-grabbing ploy
(社説)オスプレイ移転 選挙目当てで済ますな

The Abe administration has revealed a plan to temporarily redeploy a fleet of MV-22 Osprey aircraft from the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in the city of Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, to Saga Airport, a commercial facility.
 安倍政権が、米軍普天間飛行場(沖縄県宜野湾市)に配備中の新型輸送機オスプレイを、佐賀空港(佐賀市)に移転させる計画を明らかにした。

In Okinawa, U.S. military bases were built when the southern island prefecture was under U.S. administration. During this period, the United States transferred many of its military facilities on Japan’s mainland to Okinawa. Forty-two years after Okinawa was returned to Japan, the prefecture, which accounts for only 0.6 percent of Japan’s total land area, is home to 74 percent of the U.S. military facilities in the nation.
 沖縄では米軍統治下、強制的に基地がつくられ、本土の基地が移ってきた。復帰42年の今も、全国土の0・6%の沖縄に米軍基地の74%が集中する。

Additional burdens should not be imposed on the people in Okinawa, who have long been suffering from accidents and noise of military aircraft and crimes and accidents involving U.S. servicemen.
 軍用機の事故や騒音、米軍兵士らによる事件、事故に脅かされ続ける沖縄県民に、これ以上過重な負担は強いられない。

So far, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government has been claiming that moving the Futenma airbase to another location within the prefecture is the only realistic option for dealing with the risks posed by the base, currently located in the middle of a crowded city. In making its case, the administration has cited geographical and other factors.
 これまで政権は、地理的な条件などを理由に、沖縄県内への移設を唯一の選択肢としてきた。\

It is significant that the administration has indicated the possibility of moving functions of the base outside the prefecture, albeit temporarily.
一時的とはいえ、県外への移転も可能だという認識を自ら示した意味は重い。

But the announced plan has raised many questions.
 しかし、今回の計画には数々の疑問が浮かぶ。

First, the fact that a gubernatorial election will be held in Okinawa in November raises the suspicion that the move is politically motivated.
 まず背後に、11月の沖縄県知事選対策という政権の意向が透けて見える。

It is expected that incumbent Hirokazu Nakaima, who has accepted the government’s proposal to relocate the Futenma base to another place in the prefecture, will face a tough challenge by Takeshi Onaga, the mayor of Naha, the prefecture’s capital, who is opposed to the proposal.
 知事選では、普天間飛行場の県内移設を容認する現職の仲井真弘多(なかいまひろかず)氏と、反対する那覇市長、翁長雄志(おながたけし)氏の立候補が見込まれる。

If Nakaima, who has decided to play ball with the central government on the Futenma issue, fails to be re-elected, the Abe administration’s plan to relocate the base to the Henoko district in Nago, a less crowded city in Okinawa, could fall through.
 容認派の仲井真氏が敗れれば、政府が進める名護市辺野古への県内移設は頓挫しかねない。県民の反発を和らげるために、政権は基地負担軽減を必死でアピールしている。

In order to placate Okinawans resentful over the heavy U.S. military presence, the administration is making desperate efforts to underscore its commitment to reducing their burden.
 空中給油機15機の普天間から岩国基地(山口県)への移駐や、都道府県を対象にした米軍再編交付金の浮上も、知事選を見据えた動きの一環だろう。

Other related proposals that have emerged include redeploying 15 airborne refueling aircraft from the Futenma base to the Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture and providing state subsidies to prefectures that have agreed to accept U.S. military facilities for base realignment. These ideas also appear to be part of the government’s efforts to bolster Nakaima’s chances in the November poll.
 空中給油機15機の普天間から岩国基地(山口県)への移駐や、都道府県を対象にした米軍再編交付金の浮上も、知事選を見据えた動きの一環だろう。

The plan to transfer Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft from Futenma to Saga, however, won’t really reduce the burden borne by Okinawa. The fleet will return to Okinawa when the new base has been built in Henoko.
 一方、今回の計画は沖縄の負担軽減につながるものではない。辺野古に基地が完成すれば、オスプレイは沖縄に舞い戻ってしまう。

The Ground Self-Defense Force has been considering the deployment of 17 Ospreys to Saga Airport, starting in 2015. The temporary redeployment plan is a stopgap measure taking advantage of the GSDF’s plan.
 もともと陸上自衛隊は、2015年から17機のオスプレイを佐賀空港に配備する検討をしていた。今回の移転案は、そのプランに便乗した、その場しのぎの計画と言わざるをえない。

There is no guarantee that the GSDF will be able to deploy such a fleet of the aircraft to Saga Airport. Before the construction of the airport, the Saga prefectural government reached an agreement with local fishermen’s cooperatives on the prevention of related pollution. The pact states that the prefectural government has no intention of sharing Saga Airport with the SDF.
 佐賀空港建設前、県が地元漁協と交わした公害防止協定の関連文書で、空港を自衛隊と共同使用しないとしており、陸自の計画も簡単に進む保証はない。

Moreover, there remain serious safety concerns about the Osprey, which has a troubled history of accidents. There are also concerns about low-frequency noise pollution. Many local residents around Saga Airport have reacted angrily to the redeployment plan.
 事故を繰り返したオスプレイの安全性への疑問も、消えていない。低周波騒音も心配され、住民の反発は根強い。

Another big hurdle for this idea is the U.S. military’s unwillingness to move the Futenma airbase off Okinawa. Does the Japanese government have any workable plan to persuade the U.S. forces to accept the redeployment?
 さらに、これまで県外移設に強い難色を示してきた米軍に対し、説得できる見通しを日本政府は持ち合わせているのか。

If the administration is serious about easing Okinawa’s burden of being host to so many U.S. military bases, it should scrap the plan to build a new base in Henoko.
 政権が本気で沖縄の負担軽減に取り組むのなら、辺野古に新たな基地はいらない。

If its proposal to transfer Ospreys from Futenma to Saga is not a vote-grabbing ploy, the Abe administration should declare that the redeployment will be a first step toward relocating the Futenma base outside Okinawa and then start serious negotiations with Saga Prefecture and the United States.
選挙向けのパフォーマンスで終わらせないよう、計画を県外移設への一歩と表明し、佐賀県や米国との真剣な交渉に臨むべきだ。

--The Asahi Shimbun, July 26

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