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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 January 10 - 16  > US military in Okinawa continues drills despite several recent copter accidents
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2018 January 10 - 16 [US FORCES]

US military in Okinawa continues drills despite several recent copter accidents

January 11, 2018
US military in Okinawa continues drills despite several recent copter accidents
January 11, 2018

With local concerns and anger increasing in Okinawa toward a spate of accidents involving U.S. military aircraft, the U.S. Forces in Okinawa continue flight training exercises as usual.

Looking at the latest incidents alone, helicopters stationed at the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma base in Ginowan City dropped parts on December 7 and December 13 last year and made emergency landings on January 6 and January 8 this year.

After the most recent case, the Okinawa prefectural government demanded that all U.S. military aircraft in Okinawa undergo immediate and thorough inspections and that all flights be stopped while inspections are underway. However, the U.S. military totally ignored the Okinawans' plea and the aircraft resumed flights as if nothing had happened.

A Ginowan City resident said, "As long as U.S. military aircraft keep flying over our heads, Okinawan children have to be careful playing outside because aircraft components may fall on them."

In front of a gate of U.S. Camp Foster in Kitanakagusuku Village on December 10, local residents urgently assembled to protest against the crash landings. So many protesters filled the area that U.S. military vehicles were sometimes unable to move.

At the rally, the principal of the childcare facility where an object landed, "If the U.S. forces and the Japanese central government had listened to our modest request, 'Please, stop flights until the cause of the dropping accidents is determined', the latter two forced landings wouldn't have occurred."

Past related articles:
> Forced landing incident of US military chopper recurs 2 days after 1st one in Okinawa [January 9, 2018]
> US military helicopter makes emergency landing on Okinawa beach [January 7 and 9, 2018]
> Okinawans’ anger reaches boiling point due to frequent falling objects from US military aircraft [December 14, 2017]
> US military airplane drops cylindrical part on childcare facility near Futenma base [December 8, 2017]
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