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It was learned on the 29th that a U.S. military ship called at Yonabaru Marina in Yonabaru Town three times for refueling between October 29th and November 16th. This is the first time a U.S. military vessel has called at Yonabaru Marina.
From the second time onwards, there was no prior consultation regarding port calls. The U.S. military says it wants to continue using the port facilities, but on the 29th, the prefecture requested the U.S. Navy Fleet Activities Command in Okinawa to refrain from using the port.
According to the prefecture’s Port and Harbor Division, two small vessels with a total length of about 15 meters called at the port. On October 27, the ship was approached by the U.S. military about a port visit, and the official in charge gave permission. Thereafter, the ship made another port call for refueling on November 9th and 16th, but there was no communication that the ship would be using the port at that time. All three port calls were for the purpose of refueling and not for use of port facilities such as docking, so there was no illegality.
Meanwhile, the prefecture has taken the position that the U.S. military should refrain from using civilian ports except in emergencies. This time, there was a delay in sharing information with related departments, including the governor’s office, which is in charge of base countermeasures. A person in charge of the port division said, “Originally, the division in charge should have immediately informed the relevant departments and asked for self-restraint as a prefectural policy.”
In response to the incident, Governor Denny Tamashiro explained on the 29th, “(The prefecture) has been requesting that U.S. ships refrain from using civilian ports.” Regarding future responses, the agency stated that it would be sure to share information with the relevant department and “discuss it so that the department does not make decisions alone about what response to take,” acknowledging that there was a lack of coordination within the agency. Indicated. (Nae Yonabaru)