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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 December 13 - 19  > Okinawans’ anger reaches boiling point due to frequent falling objects from US military aircraft
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2017 December 13 - 19 [US FORCES]

Okinawans’ anger reaches boiling point due to frequent falling objects from US military aircraft

December 14, 2017
Citizens in Okinawa’s Ginowan City on December 13 assembled in front of the city hall to raise voices of anger against the frequent incidents involving parts falling from U.S. military aircraft.

At around 10 a.m. on the same day, at an elementary school next to the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma base, a window frame of a U.S. CH-53E military helicopter stationed at the base fell on the schoolyard where about 60 children were taking PE classes. Only six days earlier, a part that a U.S. military aircraft had possibly dropped was found on the premises of a childcare center near the Futenma base.

In the rally, Ginowan city assembly member Toubaru Isao pointed out that U.S. military aircraft frequently dropped objects and that drunk driving incidents by U.S. military personnel, including fatal ones, continue to happen. He said, “We are facing danger both from the sky and on the ground. When will the day of rest come for us?” Toubaru noted that U.S. military helicopters are allowed to fly even after the recent incidents and that Okinawans can no longer tolerate U.S. bases.

Japanese Communist Party member of the city assembly Chinen Yoshio said in tears, “We, Okinawans, want to live a normal life, but we can’t.”

Okinawa prefectural assembly member Miyagi Ichiro who was elected from Ginowan said that when he was a child, he went to the day nursery and the elementary school, the two accident sites. He said that imposing the fear of possible accidents on children is impermissible and expressed his determination to fight to protect them from having to worry about accidents.

All-Okinawa Council Co-head Takazato Suzuyo said that hearing the news of the helicopter window drop accident, she shook with anger and could not find any words that could describe the emotion she felt. She stressed that the lives of Okinawan children are at risk and that the U.S. military must suspend flight drills immediately.

Past related articles:
> US military airplane drops cylindrical part on childcare facility near Futenma base [December 8, 2017]
> Okinawa Pref. Assembly unanimously demands that USMC leave Japan [November 30, 2017]
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