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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 August 14 - 20  > Univ. in Okinawa marks 9th anniversary of US chopper crash onto its campus
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2013 August 14 - 20 [OKINAWA]

Univ. in Okinawa marks 9th anniversary of US chopper crash onto its campus

August 14, 2013
Okinawa International University held an assembly on August 13 to commemorate the 9th anniversary of a U.S. military helicopter crash on its premises, attended by citizens, including university students.

The university is located adjacent to the U.S. Futenma Air Station in Okinawa’s Ginowan City. On August 13, 2004, a CH-53D transport helicopter based at the air station crashed onto the university campus and burst into flames.

University President Oshiro Tamotsu said in his address, “There is always a possibility of an accident as long as the Futenma base exists here and Ospreys continue flying over the city.” He criticized the Abe government for accepting the additional deployment of the crash-prone tilt-rotor aircraft to the prefecture while promising to “alleviate the base-hosting burdens on Okinawan people”.

Representing university students, Makishi Ayano, a sophomore, delivered a speech. Referring to the March 2011 disaster and the Fukushima nuclear accident, she stressed, “Suffering is not limited to Okinawans.” She called for joining forces and taking a step forward to reconstruct the disaster-stricken areas as well as to work together to eliminate U.S. bases from the country.

Iha Ayaka, a freshman at the university who joined the gathering for the first time, said, “I will work to make the public aware that the Abe administration is trying to deceive people by insisting that the U.S. Ospreys are necessary as a deterrent force.”
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