The transfer of U.S. carrier-borne aircraft from the Atsugi base in Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, to the Iwakuni base in the western Japan prefecture of Yamaguchi is seen to be delayed by about three years, a senior official of the Japanese Defense Ministry said Friday.
Parliamentary Vice Defense Minister Akira Sato showed the prospect when he visited the Yamaguchi prefectural government office and the municipal office of Iwakuni.
The transfer of the aircraft from the U.S. Naval Air Facility Atsugi to the Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni had been originally planned in 2014 based on a Japan-U.S. agreement.
In response to Sato's explanation, Iwakuni Mayor Yoshihiko Fukuda said he wants to confirm the basic premise that field carrier landing practice by the carrier-based aircraft will be conducted at locations other than Iwakuni.
Sato said that he will continue talks with the United States to ensure that such practice will not take place at the Iwakuni base although the facility has been designated as one of the alternative airfields in the event of bad weather and other circumstances.