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SECURITY > Okinawa

Okinawa university marks 17th anniversary of helicopter crash on campus

  • August 13, 2021
  • , Okinawa Times, Ryukyu Shimpo
  • JMH Summary

Okinawa Times front-paged a report on the 17th anniversary today of the crash of a Futenma-based CH-53D helicopter on the campus of Okinawa International University in Ginowan in 2004. The university is planning to hold a virtual meeting this afternoon and call for the closure of MCAS Futenma. Ginowan Mayor Matsukawa is planning to post on Ginowan’s official website a message insisting that the base, which is located in the city center, should not remain in its current location indefinitely. The mayor is also planning to reiterate his resolve to realize the Futenma base’s return to Japan for the future of its young people, adding that he will take every possible measure to remove the danger at Futenma until the base is returned. The paper claimed that the “safe operation of aircraft” pledged by the GOJ and the U.S. military has become a dead letter with at least 36 crashes or emergency landings involving Futenma-based aircraft in the past 17 years. Ryukyu Shimpo wrote that although the momentum to remove the danger at Futenma grew after the helicopter crash in 2004, accidents involving Futenma-based aircraft, including Ospreys and large transport helicopters, have continued to occur. 

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