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SECURITY > Okinawa

Flights at MCAS Futenma at near record level

Okinawa Times reported on the fourth anniversary on Monday of the incident in which a window frame fell from a Futenma-based CH-35E onto a local schoolyard, highlighting data showing that the number of military flights at the installation, including those by transient aircraft, in the first half of this fiscal year was 9,800, nearly at the level of the record figure in FY2020. The paper noted that training and flight operations at the U.S. facility have become more diverse and intense perhaps in response to China’s robust military operations in the East China Sea, including in the Taiwan Strait, thus rendering the agreement to “avoid flights over densely populated areas as much as possible” practically irrelevant. Governor Tamaki commented on the anniversary by saying: “The burden of the base on residents has not been lightened…. It is unreasonable to disproportionately impose training on Okinawa by citing the possibility of a contingency across the Taiwan Strait.”

 

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