Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
Blog [Japanese]
HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 August 15 - 21  > Okinawa elementary school pupils evacuated 671 times out of fear of US military aircraft accident
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2018 August 15 - 21 TOP3 [US FORCES]

Okinawa elementary school pupils evacuated 671 times out of fear of US military aircraft accident

August 17, 2018
In an Okinawa elementary school where a U.S. military helicopter dropped a window onto the schoolyard in December 2017, pupils are forced to evacuate from the playground every time a U.S. military aircraft flies over the school. The number of evacuations reached 671 in five months ending in July this year.

On December 13, 2017, a CH-53E helicopter stationed at the U.S. Futenma base dropped a window onto the schoolyard of Futenma Daini Elementary School, which is located next to the base. The U.S. military apologized for the accidental drop, but rejected the school’s request to refrain from flying military aircraft directly over the school.

After the accident, the elementary school did not allow students to play in the schoolground and only resumed its use on February 13. However, whenever a U.S. military aircraft approaches the school, pupils have to evacuate the playground in accordance with the instructions from a Defense Ministry’s local bureau staff who is on watch on the roof of the school building.

Elementary school principal Toubaru Osamu said that pupils are put under stress and that he hopes for the school to achieve a normal state of safety.

Miyagi Chikara, whose son goes to the school, said that flights of U.S. military aircraft make the school inappropriate for the purpose of education. Miyagi, who plans to run in September’s city assembly election as a Japanese Communist Party candidate, said, “In accordance with the wishes of the late Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi, I will work to realize the closure and removal of the Futenma base as proposed in the ‘2013 petition’ to the central government by all 41 municipal leaders in the prefecture.”

Past related articles:
> Shii: JCP will work hard to prevent US military aircraft from flying over skies of Okinawa [January 13, 2018]
> Okinawa Gov. Onaga lodges with central government protest against window dropped from US military copter [December 14-16, 2017]
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved