July 4 fireworks, live bands canceled at US bases in Japan
Stars and Stripes | .
published: June 22, 2016
YOKTOA AIR BASE, Japan — The rockets’ red glare will be absent from Independence Day celebrations at U.S. military bases in Japan this year.
Commanders have banned fireworks and live bands from Fourth of July events as a sign of respect following the death of an Okinawa woman in April, U.S. Forces Japan officials said Wednesday. Police have linked the slaying to a U.S. civilian base worker.
The death has increased tensions on Okinawa. Tens of thousands of protesters gathered Sunday in Naha and Tokyo to demand U.S. forces leave the island.
USFJ spokesman Air Force Lt. Col. Kenneth Hoffman said Independence Day events were being scaled back Japan-wide “to demonstrate unwavering respect for the loss our friends on Okinawa experienced,” so fireworks displays and concerts have been canceled, he said.