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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 May 21 - 27  > JCP Okinawa protests to authorities over US fighter’s part drop
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2014 May 21 - 27 [US FORCES]

JCP Okinawa protests to authorities over US fighter’s part drop

May 21, 2014
The Japanese Communist Party Okinawa Prefectural Committee made representations to Japan’s defense and foreign authorities on May 19 over a U.S. military aircraft’s part drop incident.

An F-15 fighter of the U.S. Kadena Air Base in Okinawa dropped a part of the device giving the engine more thrust during flight training drills on May 15. That part, weighing between 56-85 grams, is still missing.

In the representations, Maesato Tamotsu of the JCP prefectural committee demanded a halt to the flight training exercises, saying, “The falling of an engine part is a serious accident which could cause the fighter to explode or crash.”

A deputy chief of the Foreign Ministry’s Okinawa Office replied, “We have asked the U.S. side to take safety measures to avoid such accidents. We have no intention to request them to stop the flight training drills.”

Nishime Sumie, a JCP member of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly, remarked, “It’s so weak-kneed for the Japanese government not to call on the U.S. to stop the exercises.”

In March, an F-15 dropped its windshield, which weighs more than 100 kilograms, off the mainland of Okinawa during a training flight. In May last year, another airplane of the same type crashed into the waters off Okinawa.

According to the prefecture, Washington first deployed F-15s to the Kadena base in 1979. As of August last year, 54 are stationed there. Up to now, they had 10 crashes and dropped airplane parts 13 times.

Past related articles:
> US military aircraft drops 4 drum cans [April 19, 2014]
> Ie Village assembly protests unopened US parachute falling near residential area [April 2 & 4, 2014]
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