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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 December 7 - 13  > US military ignores Okinawans’ protest actions against Osprey flight drills over residential area
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2016 December 7 - 13 [US FORCES]

US military ignores Okinawans’ protest actions against Osprey flight drills over residential area

December 8&9, 2016
Despite the Okinawa prefectural government’s request to halt flight training drills, the U.S. Marine Corps continued flying its MV-22 Osprey carrying supplies over populated areas in Okinawa’s Ginoza Village.

An MV-22 on December 6 from 4 p.m. until late evening flew over residential areas with a load suspended below it.

On the following day, Okinawa Vice Governor Ageda Mitsuo summoned and lodged a protest with the Director-general of the Defense Ministry’s Okinawa Defense Bureau, Nakajima Koichiro.

Ageda pointed out, “U.S. military aircraft’s flights over residential areas could cause a serious accident,” and requested the bureau director to urge the U.S. military to halt Osprey flight training drills over residential areas.

Nakajima in reply said that Ospreys might accidentally fly over such areas because they are close to the U.S. designated training zone.

However, on the same day in the evening, an MV-22 carrying supplies again flew over residences in Ginoza Village.

Village Mayor Toma Atsushi on December 8 visited the defense bureau and demanded that the bureau request the U.S. military to discontinue flight drills over residential areas, provide information prior to any training exercises, and refrain from using helipads located near residential areas.

According to the mayor, although the bureau director expressed his intent to follow the mayor’s demand, he said that the release of prior information may be difficult.
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