U.S. Marines resumes helicopter exercises

In Okinawa, about 300 citizens converged on the prefectural government office in Naha City on August 20 in protest against the resumption of U.S. military helicopter exercises in defiance of mounting calls for the suspension of flight exercises at the U.S. Marine Corps. Futenma Air Station in Ginowan City after the August 13 crash of a U.S. CH-53D transport helicopter at a university campus.

The rally was sponsored by the Okinawa Prefectural Liaison Council for United Action for Abrogation of the Security Treaty and Defending People's Living and Democracy.

Akamine Seiken, Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives, called on participants to demand an immediate withdrawal of the Futenma base and block a new U.S. military base from being constructed in Nago City.

Participants adopted a resolution calling for an unconditional return of the Futenma base to Okinawa, the cancellation of the plan to construct a new U.S. base in the sea off the Henoko district of Nago City, and the abrogation of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.

Ginowan Mayor Iha Yoichi protested the resumption of the U.S. helicopter exercises by saying, "It's intolerable that the U.S. Marines resumed the exercises in complete disregard of the citizens' sentiments." (end)

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