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SECURITY > Okinawa

Okinawa vice governor protests U.S. military choppers’ unscheduled landings

  • January 11, 2018
  • , Yomiuri , p. 31
  • JMH Translation

In light of the recent unschedued landings by helicopters stationed at the Futenma Air Station in Ginowan City, Okinawa, Vice Governor Moritake Tomikawa visited the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense on Jan. 10 to lodge a protest.

 

Tomikawa handed to Parliamentary Vice Minister of Defense Keitaro Ono at the Defense Ministry a protest letter demanding the emergency inspection of all aircraft stationed in Okinawa, suspension of flights until the inspections are completed, and the setting up of a panel consisting of officials of the U.S. forces, the national government, and Okinawa.

 

Ono said: “The consecutive incidents were truly regrettable. We would like to make efforts to deal with this situation properly.”

 

Meanwhile, the legislature of Yomitan village, where an AH-1 attack helicopter made an emergency landing on Jan. 8, held on Jan. 10 an ad hoc session where a protest resolution and written opinion demanding that all aircraft at the Futenma base suspend flights until the cause is identified were passed unanimously.

 

A protest was also held in front of the main gate of the U.S. forces’ Camp Zukeran in Kitanakagusuku Village on the same day. The protesters held placards saying “No more U.S. military aircraft flights over Okinawa” and shouted slogans such as “Stop the exercises.”

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