Protests against U.S. Futenma base increase

Mayor Iha Yoichi of Ginowan City has sent a letter to the U.S. Congress asking for the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in his city to be immediately closed.

The mayor called on U.S. legislators to consider not only the financial cost of the base but also ways to get rid of the dangers involved.

In Okinawa Prefecture, calls for the closure of the Futenma Air Station at which helicopters of the same type as the one that crashed at Okinawa International University are deployed, are increasing.

Thirty-five out of 52 village, town and city assemblies in Okinawa Prefecture have adopted resolutions protesting the U.S. helicopter crash. These resolutions are very critical of the U.S. and Japanese governments for using the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) as a reason for condoning the accident. They are also opposed to the planned construction of a new U.S. base. (end)

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