Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa Times carried follow-up stories on the discovery of what appeared to be a stray bullet in a farm shed near Camp Schwab a week ago, noting that although the U.S. military has refrained from using one of the shooting ranges at the base since the incident, it has yet to acknowledge that the object in question was a bullet that was fired from a U.S. military gun. Consequently, the municipal assembly of Nago probably will not demand the suspension of live ammunition firing drills at all practice ranges in Okinawa in a resolution on the incident to be adopted next week. The motion will instead simply call for the U.S. military and the Okinawa Defense Bureau to quickly determine the cause of the incident.
Okinawa Times voiced concern that the Japanese police investigation may run into difficulties because the SOFA may stand in the way as the U.S. military will have primary jurisdiction if the incident is indeed found to have occurred during training, which is ‘official duty.’ Pointing out that similar stray bullet incidents have occurred in the past around the same military base, the daily attributed the cause of such mishaps to the relatively small size of “Range 10,” whose use has been suspended following the incident. According to Ryukyu Shimpo, a senior prefectural government official phoned the U.S. military yesterday and asked for firing practice to be halted at all ranges on Camp Schwab until the cause of the incident is identified.