Okinawa local assemblies want a closure of U.S. Futenma base

All members of Okinawa's Ginowan City Assembly on August 18 called for an immediate return of U.S. Marine Corps. Futenma Air Station site to Okinawa. They requested that relevant authorities, including the U.S. Consulate General and the Naha Regional Defense Facilities Administration Bureau, remove the Futenma base as early as possible in order to defend citizens' lives and properties. They said, "Wherever it may be, the base does not protect citizens' lives."

The Naha City Assembly at its extraordinary session on August 18 unanimously adopted a resolution protesting the crash of a U.S. Marines helicopter at the Okinawa International University campus and calling for a closure of the U.S. Futenma air base. The assembly also called for thorough investigations into the accident, compensation for damages, and a swift cancellation of U.S. military flights over residential areas.

On August 18, Okinawa Governor Inamine Keiichi at a news conference in Tokyo stated that he would request an early return of the Futenma base and a halt to U.S. military flights until preventive measures are taken. He, however, expressed that he would maintain support for the plan to construct a new U.S. military base in Nago City. (end)

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