Published on : Saturday, April 20, 2019
Tokyo is seeking to increase its passenger capacity in July and August 2020 by making use of the Yokota Airbase. This airbase currently houses the US Air Force and Japanese Air Self-Defense Force.
The Japanese government believes that transforming the airbase into a dual-use airstrip would mitigate congestion at Narita and Haneda airports, the two main hubs servicing the capital.
The U.S., never left Japan since World War II. It had agreed back in January to allow some civilian aircraft to cross airspace typically reserved for American forces. However, it fears accommodating civilian jets might interfere with American military power projection and has approached the request with caution.
The U.S. is waiting for detailed Japanese proposals. Any future commitments of specific U.S. military support to the Olympics and Paralympics will be balanced against operational readiness concerns and Alliance obligations.
A controversial proposal to locate a US military base on Okinawa was overwhelmingly rejected by locals. Also, tensions between US personnel and the civilian population have been on the rise over numerous criminal incidents.
It is to be seen whether the permission to share Japan Yokota airstrip will be given by U.S.