Tokyo governor eyes Yokota Air Base for civilian flights during 2020 Olympics
Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose has made public comments again putting pressure on the U.S. military to allow civilian commercial airlines to use U.S. Yokota Air Base, to cope with increased air traffic expected in the run up to the 2020 Olympics.
In comments made on a TV chat show on the subject of preparing Japan’s transport infrastructure for the increased traffic, Inose said, “It’s an American military base, so if we are able to use it, there won’t be any construction costs,” Sankei Shimbun reported.
On the subject of building a fifth runway at Haneda airport, Inose said that nothing has been decided yet but even if the project gets the go-ahead, work won’t be finished by 2020.
During the 2003 gubernatorial elections, then Tokyo Gov Shintaro Ishihara pledged to make efforts to get the U.S. to agree to joint civilian-military use of the Yokota airport, which has a 3,350-meter runway, but was unsuccessful.