NHK reported at noon that in response to reports that three U.S. helicopters allegedly flew over an elementary school near MCAS Futenma where a window fell onto the playground from a U.S. helicopter last month, Okinawa Governor Onaga said at a press briefing today: “It is extremely regrettable and I am resentful. This is an outrageous situation.” The governor also reportedly said: “The U.S. military explained that it confirmed by checking the radar and talking to the pilots that the helicopters did not fly over the school, but I cannot trust the U.S. explanation.” He was also quoted as saying: “If they claim it didn’t happen, they should disclose the official radar data and present objective evidence to the people of Okinawa.”
Meanwhile, the network also quoted Defense Minister Onodera as telling reporters this morning: “The Ministry of Defense has confirmed that the helicopters flew over the school through video footage and reports by observers. We have provided the U.S. side with the footage and asked them to check once again.” Onodera also said: “We will continue to strongly call on the U.S. military not to fly over schools near MCAS Futenma.”
The network also reported that the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution of protest this morning calling on the U.S. military to suspend military aircraft flights and training above civilian areas.