In light of the recent U.S. military aircraft accidents, Ryukyu Shimpo conducted a survey of the mayors of cities, towns, and villages in Okinawa on their opinions about these accidents. The 40 mayors who responded voiced such opinions as, “This is an extremely abnormal situation” (Kadena Mayor Hiroshi Toyama). Many of them demanded the suspension of all flights until the causes of the accidents can be identified. They criticized the frequent accidents, with Yomitan Mayor Denjitsu Ishimine stating, “The U.S. forces’ measures to prevent recurrence are unreliable.” Some of them demanded that the Japanese and U.S. governments take steps to lighten Okinawa’s base-hosting burden and revise the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).
Ryukyu Shimpo sent faxes to the mayors on Jan. 9 to seek their comments on the recent U.S. military aircraft accidents. Responses were obtained by Jan. 10 either by fax or in person. Only the mayor of Minamidaito Village had not responded as of Jan. 10. (Abridged)