U.S. forces ignore residents' concern to resume live-fire drills

The U.S. Marines at Okinawa's Camp Schwab resumed live-fire exercises on February 21, seven months after they suspended them following a misfiring incident in which stray bullets went into farmland in Nago City, Okinawa Prefecture last July.

The U.S. forces ignored local residents' concerns for their safety when they decided on the resumption of exercises using live shells, thus causing protests from Okinawa Prefectural and Nago City governments.

On the day before, the U.S. forces resumed the exercises, the Nago City Assembly adopted a resolution demanding that the restart of the live-fire training be canceled. Okinawa Governor Inamine Keiichi expressed his regret over the action.

The secretary general of the Okinawa Peace Committee complained, "The U.S. forces always promise to take preventive measures, but their word has never prevented a recurrence of crimes and accidents by U.S. forces. They're always putting us in harms way. We want such dangerous training immediately ended." (end)

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