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SECURITY > Okinawa

Okinawa area coordinator offers apology for helicopter accident at Takae

  • October 28, 2017
  • , Okinawa Times, Ryukyu Shimpo
  • JMH Summary

Saturday’s Okinawa Times front-paged a report saying that Okinawa Area Coordinator Nicholson offered an apology at a meeting with Vice Governor Tomikawa on Friday for the accident involving a Futenma-based CH-53E helicopter that burst into flames at Takae in Higashi Village, Okinawa. The paper wrote that this was the first time for Lt. Gen. Nicholson to apologize for the incident. The vice governor told reporters after the meeting that Lt. Gen. Nicholson expressed regret and apologized for causing anxiety among the people of Okinawa. Concerning the prefectural government’s request for suspending the use of three of the six helipads at the Northern Training Area, the vice governor quoted the Marine general as saying that he promised to study the request so as to alleviate the anxiety of local residents. The paper also wrote that the meeting was held behind closed doors in accordance with a request from the U.S. side despite the prefectural government’s policy of making all meetings open to the press. Vice Governor Tomikawa apologized to the press by saying that the prefecture gave priority to the visit and apology from Nicholson over the format of the meeting. Ryukyu Shimpo ran a similar story on an inside page.

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