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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 August 28 - September 3  > US military helicopter drops a window while in flight
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2019 August 28 - September 3 [US FORCES]

US military helicopter drops a window while in flight

August 31, 2019

A window fell from a U.S. CH-53E heavy-lift helicopter into the sea eight kilometer off the Okinawa mainland on August 27. The Okinawa prefectural government and the municipalities concerned were informed of this accident through the Okinawa Defense Bureau two days after the incident occurred.

The aircraft in question is stationed at the U.S. Futenma base in Ginowan City and is the same model as the one that dropped an 8-kg window onto the schoolyard of an elementary school in Futenma City two years ago.

Okinawa Vice Governor Janaha Kiichiro on August 30 called the Okinawa Defense Bureau chief to the prefectural government office and expressed his distrust of the U.S. military by saying, "The U.S. side was supposed to inform us of the incident based on the agreement made by the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee in 1997 to swiftly report U.S. military-related accidents and crimes." The bureau chief in response said that he conveyed the anger over the delayed report to the U.S. forces.

Janaha recalled, "At the time of the 2017 accident, the U.S. military informed the prefectural government of Okinawa that 'it tightened prevention measures', but it occurred again. I'm very shocked." He demanded a 1-week suspension of CH-53E aircraft flights.

However, the central government accepted the early resumption of flights on the grounds that there were no reports of damage or injury. CH-53Es already resumed flights.

Past related article:
> Okinawa Gov. Onaga lodges with central government protest against window dropped from US military copter [December 14-16, 2017]
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