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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 June 20 - 26  > An Okinawa village assembly adopts 1st resolution demanding immediate removal of US military helipads
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2018 June 20 - 26 [US FORCES]

An Okinawa village assembly adopts 1st resolution demanding immediate removal of US military helipads

June 22, 2018

The Higashi Village Assembly in Okinawa on June 20 unanimously adopted a written opinion and a resolution demanding the immediate removal of two U.S. military helipads. This is the first time that the assembly approved a document to this effect.

The two landing pads are located in the N-4 district of the U.S. Northern Training Area extending over Higashi and Kunigami villages. They are part of six helipads built around the Takae district in Higashi Village and are situated only 400 meters away from Takae’s residential area.

The written opinion and the resolution state that since the two helipads were put to use in 2015, the U.S. military has been conducting flight drills near the village many times. The documents note that U.S. military aircraft have frequently caused accidents inside and outside Okinawa, including a helicopter crash in Takae in October 2017, part drop accidents, and emergency landings. The documents stress that villagers are living in constant fear of accidents and suffering considerable hardships.

Japanese Communist Party member of the village assembly Isa Masatsugu said that even conservative members of the assembly no longer support the existence of the U.S. helipads, which has brought about the unanimous approval of the documents demanding their closure. He stressed that the Japanese and U.S. governments should take the village’s demand seriously.

The village assembly in 2015 adopted a written opinion and a resolution demanding a ban on the use of the landing pads short of calling for their removal.

Past related article:
> Okinawans raise outcry against CH-53E copter crash in Takae [October 14 &16, 2017]

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