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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 April 2 - 8  > Ie Village assembly protests unopened US parachute falling near residential area
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2014 April 2 - 8 [US FORCES]

Ie Village assembly protests unopened US parachute falling near residential area

April 2 & 4, 2014
The Ie Village Assembly in Okinawa on April 3 made a complaint to the government of Japan and to U.S. defense authorities in regard to an accident in which an unopened parachute fell in a civilian area during the March 26 parachute drop drill at the U.S. Ie-jima Auxiliary Airfield.

The assembly speaker and nine assemblypersons visited the Okinawa Defense Bureau and submitted a letter of protest that was adopted unanimously by the assembly on the day following the accident.

The parachute landed only 10 meters from the busy village road and about 140 meters from the closest community.

Pointing out the possibility that a fatal accident could have happened, the written protest expresses strong anger at the fact that the unwanted event took place again in spite of repeated requests for prevention of recurrence in response to frequent military accidents and incidents.

Naka Minoru, Japanese Communist Party assembly member, said that a total of 48 U.S. personnel landed off target outside the base 23 times due to bad weather between 1997 and 2014 and demanded that parachute drop training exercises be cancelled in poor weather conditions with strong winds.

The JCP Okinawa Prefectural Committee also made representations to the local defense bureau on April 1, demanding an immediate end to high-altitude parachute training and to the holding of such exercises under severe weather conditions.

Defense officials said that they called on the U.S. military to thoroughly ensure that safety precautions are taken during military drills.

Past related articles:
> Discarded US marine’s parachute falls from the sky in Okinawa [March 28, 2014]
> Marines parachute onto land outside designated training site [January 15, 2014]
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