市街地のど真ん中に位置する米軍普天間飛行場の危険性は一目瞭然だが、米国内の安全基準で一切の利用が禁止されているクリアゾーン(土地利用禁止区域)に学校や住宅が密集している状況が放置されているという米国の二重基準の問題も持っている。

米軍普天間飛行場

 宜野湾市が調査した普天間飛行場のマスタープランでは、米軍は滑走路の両端から約900メートルを危険地域としてクリアゾーンに指定。米国の安全基準ではクリアゾーンは一切の建物を建ててはならないとしているが、実際には普天間第二小学校をはじめとする教育施設や住宅があり、約3600人が生活している。

 2005年にクリアゾーンの存在を明らかにした元宜野湾市長の伊波洋一氏は、米国基準に違反する普天間の閉鎖を求め続けている。一方で、日本政府はクリアゾーンが守られていないとの指摘に対し「飛行場周辺の土地などについては関係法令に従って利用されている」との見解を閣議決定するなど、問題は放置され続けている。

Although the dangers inherent in U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma (MCAS Futenma), located in the center of a highly dense urban area, are patently self-evident, the presence of the base itself also represents a double standard so far as the United States is concerned. The reality of the heavy concentration of schools and homes has long been ignored in the so-called clear zone around the base where any land use is expressly prohibited under American law governing public safety.

According to the MCAS Futenma Master Plan examined by Ginowan City, the US military designated an area extending approximately 900m out from both sides of the runway as clear zones, which are judged to be dangerous areas. U.S. safety regulations prohibit the construction of any structures in clear zones. Nevertheless, the clear zone around MCAS Futenma contains Futenma Daini Elementary School and a host of other educational institutions as well as residential housing where approximately 3600 people abide.

Former Ginowan City Mayor Yoichi Iha who, in 2005, made public the existence of the clear zone regulations has continued to call for the closure of MCAS Futenma, which stands in violation of U.S. regulations. Nevertheless, in response to this finding that the base is in perpetual violation of the clear zone standards, Japan’s Cabinet issued a declaration that “land and other areas around the airfield are used in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.” With this official statement and other related positions, the Japanese government continues to pay no heed to the issue of law violations.