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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 June 26 - July 2  > After 1 year, Okinawa gov’t finally allowed to enter US base over stray bullet incident
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2019 June 26 - July 2 [US FORCES]

After 1 year, Okinawa gov’t finally allowed to enter US base over stray bullet incident

June 27, 2019
The U.S. forces in Okinawa on June 26 finally allowed the prefectural government, police, and other relevant local authorities access to a live-fire range at U.S. Camp Schwab in Nago City in regard to a stray bullet incident that occurred a year ago.

In June 2018, a 0.50 caliber bullet from Camp Schwab’s firing Range 10 was found lodged in a local farmer’s shed located near the range. In the vicinity, a similar incident occurred in 2002.

After the entrance, a prefectural government official in charge of U.S. base issues before the media reported on the U.S. military’s explanation regarding the June 2018 stray bullet incident. According to the official, the U.S. forces, in the wake of the 2002 incident, established new rules and procedure for live-fire drills on Range 10. However, another stray bullet incident occurred last year due to a breach of the newly-established routine. As preventive measures, the U.S. military manned the shooting range in question in order to make sure that live-fire drills are conducted in accordance with the new rules and procedure.

Japanese Communist Party member of the Nago City Assembly Yoshii Shunpei said, “Whenever a stray bullet incident happened, the U.S. military repeatedly said that preventive measures were taken. However, they failed to prevent a recurrence. The city assembly at the end of last year unanimously adopted a statement demanding a closure of Camp Schwab’s Range 10. This is the only way to eliminate incidents involving stray bullets.”

Since Okinawa’s reversion to Japan in 1972, 29 cases of accidents involving stray bullets from U.S. bases occurred. Of them, nine cases happened near Camp Schwab. In the base, live-fire training exercises using 0.50 caliber ammunition were reportedly resumed at the end of May.

Past related article:
> US stray bullet found at farm hut in Okinawa's Nago City [June 22, 2018]
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