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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 October 5 - 11  > US forces unilaterally resumes Harrier flights without determining cause of crash
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2016 October 5 - 11 [US FORCES]

US forces unilaterally resumes Harrier flights without determining cause of crash

October 6&7, 2016
Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi on October 5 said to the press that it is “unacceptable” for the U.S. military to restart the flight of Harrier jets before figuring out the cause behind the crash.

A U.S. Marine Corps AV-8 Harrier Fighter Attacker crashed into the sea off Okinawa in mid-September. The Okinawa Prefectural government demanded that the U.S. forces suspend all AV-8 Harrier flights until the cause of the crash is determined.

The U.S. military earlier on the day announced that it will resume Harrier flights.

Asked to respond to the U.S. military’s decision, Onaga said, “Their decision to unilaterally resume Harrier flights will heavily undermine our relations of trust.”

Expressing his disapproval of the U.S. military’s explanation about the aircraft’s safety, the governor said, “Its safety is not by any means assured as they have yet to find out what caused the aircraft to crash. In addition, although we received no notification, I heard that the U.S. forces informed the central government about the resumption of Harrier flights prior to the announcement.”

On the following day, Vice Governor Ageda Mitsuo visited U.S. Camp Zukeran (also known as Camp Foster) to make representations against the resumption of Harrier flights.

In response to the representation, Major General Joaquin F. Malavet, the commanding general of Marine Corps Installations Pacific, did not offer any explanation or apology for the crash and repeated that Washington decided on the resumption of flights.

Later on the same day, Ageda summoned the Foreign Ministry’s Ambassador in charge of Okinawa affairs, Kawada Tsukasa, and the Defense Ministry’s Okinawa Defense Bureau chief, Nakajima Koichiro, into the prefectural office and stated that the Abe government is accepting the U.S. military’s decision too lightly.

Past related article:
> Okinawa governor to Defense Minister: US Harrier jets should not fly before cause of recent crash is determined [September 23-25, 2016]
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