By Diane Farsetta on June 12, 2008

The USS George WashingtonConcerns about safety and the impact on the local fishing industry have led residents to protest the U.S. Navy's stationing a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in Yokosuka, Japan. Some 48,000 residents called for a public referendum on the deployment of the USS George Washington, but the Yokosuka assembly rejected their plea. The U.S. Navy will distribute 26,000 copies of a comic book titled Manga CVN73, "named after the George Washington's hull number. ... The navy hopes the 200-page book, with its wholly positive take on life in the services, will dampen opposition to the George Washington's deployment amid protests by Yokosuka residents." The comic, drawn by Japanese cartoonists hired by the U.S. Navy, "follows Jack Ohara, a third-class petty officer, as he overcomes seasickness and prepares for his first overseas mission -- to Japan. In one scene he quickly puts out a fire that has broken out on board the ship." In May, the real George Washington had a fire on board that left "two crew members with minor burns and another 23 needing treatment." U.S. Real Admiral James Kelly said of the fire, "This is not something for the citizens of Yokosuka to worry about."