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Court orders SDF night flights at Atsugi base suspended


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Great. China is making notes to attack between 10pm and 6am. lol

4 ( +14 / -10 )

In practical terms, as long as there is a forward deployed carrier there will be a need for night landing practice, In fairness, in most cases, the air bases were in place long before homes went up. The landing-on-a-postage-stamp maneuver is absolutely essential.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

" The Yokohama district court ruled in favor of some 7,000 people living near Atsugi Base…"

Actually, this ruling is beneficial to everyone in the flight plain.

Although night FCLP is necessary immediately before carrier deployment, the noise is intense and disturbing to all affected.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Yeah the bases were there for along time, but many people are living on traditional family land that was theirs long before the military arrived, perhaps its time to move the base to a remote area, some where like senkaku islands.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

This kind of thing would be revoked on appeal, and this judge's career is FINISHED.

And in this case, I will agree. The Judiciary should not be in the way of national defense.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

the military must be able to fly anytime to allow the pilots to be accustomed to different time frames. Its a national security for heaven's sake. People move near the base because thats where they find their job then they build their family then complain against the noise.

How about limiting the number of flights?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The Japanese people's conception of national security is weak.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I lived near an air force base when I was a child, and those were the days when B52 bombers were on constant rotation. If you think a small fighter jet is noisy, imagine group takeoffs and landings of heavy bombers, which of course come and go at all hours.

My grandfather said that the noise was "the sound of freedom", and that I should be thankful whenever I heard it.

The court ruling is stupid, in fact, stupid is not a strong enough word for it. But then again, judges in Japan are silly creatures who usually begin their judgeships after graduating from university, and have no experience in practical application of the law. In Japan, judges can eventually become lawyers, whereas in other countries, the opposite is true. 4 years of university, pass the bar, and the examination to be a judge, and you are good to go, though university is not a requirement, in Japan you can become a lawyer or a judge without having to attend university. In America, a lawyer would still be in his first or second year of law school when a Japanese lawyer or judge begins practicing.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

A court on Wednesday ordered Japan’s military to suspend night flights from one base in the first such ruling over noise caused by fighter planes.

Is this court aware that China has been flexing it's military muscles recently? If not, why not?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I agree with court rule ! as I understand how noisy it is when four CH46 passover my apartment at 10:30pm and sometime as late as 11:30pm. However danger of accidents is unlikely.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yep. The sound of freedom!! I'm not sure about Atsugi but at JBPHH and Marine Corp Base Hawaii, most if not all night training missions RTB well before 22:00.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Its most likely not a national security issue. Thats why the court ruled the way it did. Planes at Atsugi don't take off and practice dogfights over Yokohama, 100% of the flights are likely transport and storage of excess planes to other bases that could just as easily be done during the day. Arguements against continuing the flights must have been very convincing and the evidence against the government pretty damning to justify this type of ruling.... but then again, the Yokohama District court does have a track record of craziness so I hope we can get more info on this.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

There's no such thing as curfew hours for national security.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Ah, Japan and laws of convenience! I wonder if residents will complain about the noise from enemies attacking at night.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

There's no such thing as curfew hours for national security.

Exactly. I know how loud it can be and yes, it is disturbing, but given the circumstances now with growing and saber-rattling China, it's even more imperative that these guys are at the pinnacle top of their game. When you think it, it's a small price to pay when it comes down to overall national security.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Last time I was in the Navy Japanese fighters did not operate off of USN carriers. Am sure in an emergency to a Chinese incoming fighter the restrictions do not apply. B-52s taking off from Kadina AFB had nada do do with American nor Japanese freedom. They were bombing Vietnam.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I think in time of peace transport flights can be scheduled well during office time, night trainings can be done from remote bases. So what, just some nice weather generals that do not want to leave the city?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

People take security for granted when they haven't been involved in a military conflict for over 70 years. That being said, its pitch black at 10pm. That should be late enough for night training.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

So, Ghost rider, you know all about night training and remote bases, eh? And, oh, those "nice weather generals," wow, what an insightful comment! Just which remote bases did you have in mind, here in Japan? And what makes you think those "nice weather generals" exist? In a word, do you have a clue what you are talking about?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

As someone who grew up at the end of the runway, may I suggest people don't move into areas on or near flight paths? You get used to it very quickly and it really isn't an issue unless you want to be on. How many of those located near the bases make or depend on those bases for their livelyhood?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

As someone who grew up at the end of the runway, may I suggest people don't move into areas on or near flight paths?

Many families in Japan live on properties that have been owned by them for generations - well before there was ever an air base. It's not like they moved to the flight path, the flight path moved to them.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Stranger, how many do you actually think lived there and were alive before the bases went up? I'm willing to bet very few. As adults, people make choices. If you decide to stay and live on the end of a flight path, you have yourself to blame for being unhappy with the noise. Land owned for generations really isn't that great of a reason to stay in an area if you're that unhappy. Mind you, I'd rather pick up and move then be miserable and moan but we all know many locals are only happy when they're upset.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

we all know many locals are only happy when they're upset.

That's right. Some people are only happy when they are upset. I defer to your expertise.

Actually I think limiting, not stopping, late night flights as much as possible is fair enough.


Do the crews train etc in rotating shifts? Can sufficient night training be conducted before 10PM?

Besides training concerns, even if not flying, things are on 24 hour standby, right? I'd be surprised if not, especially these days.

If national security is adversely affected, an alternative must be considered.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

One doesn't even need to live near one of the air bases to be affected. Of course it is much worse there, but given that they fly on set paths, anyone living under such a flight path is affected. They are going much further out of the range of a base and fly pretty low... enough to make a home shake and TV waves shake. Not only fighter jets either, but larger planes are noted by many. It is much worse in times of military escalation when people and weapons have to be moved from one place to another. During some of the recent wars, it was like several times an hour and a multitude of air craft. They have to move out or return. All things being equal, being Japanese or non-Japanese doesn't matter when they fly overhead. You can really get a sense of the significance of the location of Japan in relation to continental Asia and beyond after 4 p.m.!!!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Didn't call myself an expert but thank you!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Would those people prefer a good night's sleep or Chinese fighters doing fly-bys? National Security of it's airspace takes first place over a good night's sleep.

Use a good pair of ear plugs if the noise is to great, oh wait, that was to simple to think of.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Mw775, 14 years in the army, drill instructor. Yes, I know about what I speak.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If there was an emergency or attack or other threat then I think everyone would accept the noise, but in general use and generally I do not think it is needed to have fighters screaming in and out 24/7 or after 10pm in this time we live. However it could become normal practise should china korea or Russia become more aggressive.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

An aerial photo shows Atsugi Air Base looks exactly like USMC Air Station Futenma in Okinawa. Both are dangerously surrounded by densely-populated residential areas. Atsugi is the airfield where the Douglas C54 with the victorious Gen. MacArthur on board landed on August 30, 1945. MacArthur appeared from the aircraft and looked around the scene with a big corn pipe in his mouth as if to show himself off before stepping down the gangway.

So there's a big difference between Atsugi and Futenma. Atsugi had been there already before the Occupation forces arrived while Futenma was built after they had conquered the island of Okinawa by encroaching upon private lands with impunity.

It's unfortunate, and even tragic, that the court ruled that only SDAF aircraft based there must not fly between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. whereas U.S. aircraft are not subject to this ruling, saying: “The government does not possess power to order U.S. forces in Japan to suspend flights.” Apparently, in the mind of those judicial people, the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is above and beyond the Japanese Constitution. Can one think of such situation in the U.S.? Human rights violations by a foreign military is no subject to U.S. law because the bilateral agreement is beyond the U.S. Constitution?

Japan is no doubt a subjugated vassal of the great U.S.A. It's still being occupied by the U.S. military, only in diguise. Under such circumstances, Okinawa cannot free itself from being a U.S. military colony forever.

Whether there is "China threat" or not, Washington simply wants to maintain this regrettable state of affairs indefinitely. Can anyone suggest that I am wrong?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Welll, voiceofokinawa, under what law do you propose the government unilaterally suspend the United States' use of the airfield?

Also, while countries sometimes place the Constitution above Treaties, as far as the international world is concerned, the Treaty has precedence - if it will cause a Constitutional conflict, you shouldn't have signed it, and if you did, you are just going to have to make your Constitution work around it or be guilty of a treaty violation.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Kazuaki Shimazaki,

I'm interested to know how commonsense Americans would react to my posting and yours. You say it's OK for residents living around Atsugi Air Station to continue suffering by noise pollution caused by U.S. aircraft practicing field carrier landing practice late into the night because there's no Japanese law to suspend that. What if Japan decided to enact such law and decided to revise the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty even though such possibility is almost nil currently? But what if? The Pentagon may find a great friend in you.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

While many local economies are significantly boosted by the presence of bases

Outrageous that propaganda was written like its a fact. Simply occupying a part of the economy cannot be considered a "significant boost", particularly when the bases use the land in the most inefficient way possible short of just not using it at all. Bulldoze the bases and build some factories, or even just some farms, and you will see a boost in the economy in one of Japan's poorest prefectures.

Most of the space occupied by bases is only adding to the economy in the form of gasoline sales for use in lawnmowers. Yep. Its mostly grass! And boost my.....

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The titles states Court orders SDF night flights at Atsugi base suspended. You've written You say it's OK for residents living around Atsugi Air Station to continue suffering by noise pollution caused by U.S. aircraft Do you know what SDF stands for as it seems not.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

There seems to be an agreement between the military, Japan and US, and the Tokyo Board of Education that flights be halted during the big exam days for entering university or other schools. Seems reasonable. Have been in a few classrooms where lessons had to be stopped while a helicopter roared by. But, people can get used to anything like cargo aircraft going in for a landing over a group of high school baseball players. Oh for a camera! What a sight! True precision!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Spokesman - .....Bulldoze the bases and build some factories, or even just some farms, and you will see a boost in the economy in one of Japan's poorest prefectures.

Maybe you should be talking to China. I suspect they'll bulldoze anything you suggest.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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