Jiji Press IWAKUNI, Yamaguchi (Jiji Press) — Work started on Wednesday to transfer U.S. carrier-based aircraft to Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture, from Kanagawa Prefecture as part of a realignment plan for the U.S. military in Japan.
In the first batch of the transfers, five E-2D early warning airplanes from the Atsugi base in Kanagawa Prefecture arrived at the U.S. Marine Corps’ Iwakuni base between 12:12 p.m. and around 1:50 p.m.
The U.S. military’s initial plan to start the relocation on Sunday was postponed due to Typhoon No. 5.
“I want the U.S. military to take all possible measures to avoid accidents, including on aircraft maintenance and pilot education,” Iwakuni Mayor Yoshihiko Fukuda told reporters at the city hall.
Iwakuni citizens are “concerned” about the possibility that noise problems could get worse, Fukuda said, adding that he hopes to understand U.S. military operations and urge the U.S. side to make improvements where needed.
A total of 61 airplanes, including fighter jets and EA-18G electric warfare aircraft, are set to be transferred in stages to the Iwakuni base by around May 2018.
The relocation will raise the number of airplanes belonging to the base to over 120, making it roughly equivalent to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa Prefecture, the biggest U.S. military base in the Far East.Speech