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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 December 14 - 20  > Okinawans hold urgent rally to protest against US Osprey crash in Okinawa
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2016 December 14 - 20 TOP3 [US FORCES]

Okinawans hold urgent rally to protest against US Osprey crash in Okinawa

December 18, 2016
An urgent rally protesting against the crash of a U.S. MV-22 Osprey into the shallow water off Nago City in Okinawa took place on December 17 in front of the main gate of U.S. Camp Schwab in the city’s Henoko district.

About 900 local residents gathered on short notice outside the camp, shouting in chorus, “We want an Okinawa without foreign military bases!”

Nago City Mayor Inamine Susumu criticized both the Japanese and U.S. governments by saying, “We have long been threatened with the risk of accidents like this in our daily life and have repeatedly been opposed to the Osprey deployment to our land, but they never listen to us.”

Ashitomi Hiroshi, representative of a local anti-U.S. heliport organization, said, “The U.S. military conducts dangerous flight training exercises over our heads on a daily basis, including aerial refueling. We can no longer allow the Abe government to continue fawning on the U.S.”

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Akamine Seiken said, “A completion ceremony for the Osprey helipads will soon take place under the pretext of the return of part of the U.S. Northern Training Area to Japan. This is the most humiliating betrayal for Okinawans.”

In the Takae district of Higashi Village where the U.S. Northern Training Area is located and the U.S. Osprey helipads have been under construction, about 300 local residents rallied there from early in the morning.

The Abe government says the construction of the U.S. helipads has been completed. However, at the site in Takae, a mountain of building materials and gravel remain.

The rally participants vowed that they will continue fighting against the use of their village by U.S. Osprey aircraft. A 64-year-old man expressed his concern, “Ospreys fly over schools as well. Anything could happen.”
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