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Okinawa protests incident in which rubber sheet fell on school

Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo reported on Saturday that Vice Governor Jahana protested on Friday to U.S. Marine Corps Installations Pacific commander Rock and U.S. Consul General in Naha Koepcke over the rubber sheet that fell on the premises of a school in Urasoe on June 4. Brig. Gen. Rock told him that the rubber tape in question was not on the safety inspection checklist, but has since been added to the list. As to Okinawa’s demand that U.S. military aircraft refrain from flying over schools, Rock told Jahana that flights are fundamentally conducted in accordance with the Japan-U.S. agreement. He said that the Marines will do their best but asked Okinawa to understand that there are cases in which such flights are unavoidable. Jahana later told the press that neither Rock nor Koepcke apologized.


The papers also reported that Jahana summoned the Foreign Ministry’s Ambassador to Okinawa Kawamura and Okinawa Defense Bureau Director General Tanaka to the prefectural government office on Friday to lodge a protest. Meanwhile, the city assemblies of Urasoe and Naha passed protest resolutions and written opinions on the incident on the same day. These documents will be sent to the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, the Third Marine Expeditionary Force commander, and other relevant officials. Representatives of the Okinawa chapters of the LDP, Komeito, and Japan Innovation Party also lodged a protest with Tanaka on Friday.

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