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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 February 14 - 20  > US military aircraft should not fly over childcare center: Okinawa parents to Abe gov’t
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2018 February 14 - 20 [US FORCES]

US military aircraft should not fly over childcare center: Okinawa parents to Abe gov’t

February 14, 2018
The principal of an Okinawa childcare center and its parent association members on February 13 met with government officials in Tokyo to hand over 100,000 signatures seeking to block U.S. military aircraft from flying over the nursery. This action is in response to a part-drop accident involving a U.S. military helicopter two months ago.

The facility in question is the Midorigaoka childcare center in Okinawa’s Ginowan City. On the morning of December 7, 2017, the nursery’s staff members heard a bang from the roof of the building and later found an object there. At that time, many children were playing in the playground next to the nursery building. The object is believed to have fallen from a U.S. military helicopter stationed at the U.S. Futenma base which is located near the day nursery. This accident prompted parents to start a signature collection campaign to demand that the Japanese government urge the U.S. military to ground its aircraft until the cause of the accident is determined and that U.S. military helicopters not take the route above the childcare center when flying to and from the Futenma base.

Principal Kamiya Takehiro and six board members of the parents’ association came to Tokyo to submit 127,000 signatures in total with those which were sent in earlier and met with officials of the Cabinet Secretariat and the ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs in the Dietmembers’ office building.

In the meeting, the parents’ association chief said to the officials, “You should come to our childcare center to see if U.S. military aircraft really need to fly over the heads of children cheerfully at play.”

The association vice chief stressed, “We just want to protect our children’s lives. I cannot understand why such a simple request is not respected.” She added, “We will continue to fight to achieve the ban on flights of U.S. military aircraft over our facility. We will never give up.”

The meeting was also joined by Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Akamine Seiken and five other Okinawa-elected opposition party parliamentarians.

Past related articles:
> Shii: JCP will work hard to prevent US military aircraft from flying over skies of Okinawa [January 13, 2018]
> US military airplane drops cylindrical part on childcare facility near Futenma base [December 8, 2017]
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