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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 July 22 - 28  > US helicopter drops blank ammo rounds on schoolyard in Shizuoka
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2015 July 22 - 28 [US FORCES]

US helicopter drops blank ammo rounds on schoolyard in Shizuoka

July 23, 2015
Blank ammo rounds fell from a U.S. military helicopter onto a tennis court in the school grounds in Shizuoka Prefecture on July 21. No injuries were reported.

The U.S. Forces Japan the next day admitted that a helicopter assigned to U.S. Camp Fuji mistakenly dropped the three blank cartridges while flying on a training exercise, explaining that the cause of the accident is under investigation.

Reportedly, a student of Oyama Junior High School discovered a round measuring about 7 centimeters in length and 1.2 centimeters in diameter around 4 p.m. on that day on a tennis court at the school. An official of the local board of education visited the site and commented, “Where the bullets fell on was just two meters from a baseline of the tennis court. A serious injury could have been inflicted.”

Japanese Communist Party member of the Oyama Town Assembly Takahata Hiroyuki said, “Together with townspeople, I will demand an investigation to determine the cause and insist on the implementation of measures to prevent a recurrence. The JCP assemblyperson added, “I will also try to uncover the details of their training exercises which are normally concealed from our eyes, in cooperation with neighboring municipalities and landowners who have the training area agreements with the U.S. forces.”

Oyama Town Mayor Komiyama Masahide on July 22 visited the South Kanto Defense Bureau to request an investigation into the incident.


JCP assembly member Takahata and the leader of a local peace committee requested the town mayor on July 24 to urge the U.S. military to implement recurrence prevention measures as soon as possible.

The two pointed out that the agreement on the use of local maneuvering grounds requires military helicopters to make utmost efforts to avoid flying over public facilities such as schools and hospitals. They stressed that the mayor should work to have the U.S. forces observe the agreement strictly.

Mayor Komiyama promised to lodge a complaint to the U.S. military through Japan’s Defense Ministry, saying, “I share the same view as yours on this issue.”

Past related articles:
> Naha City Assembly protests repeated accidental drops of US aircraft equipment [March 18 & 21, 2015]
> Osprey again drops a part by accident [March 17, 2015]
> Okinawa JCP protests against US military aircraft’s drop incidents [February 25, 2015]
> US F15 again drops a part by accident [February 7, 2015]
> US military helicopter drops items in sea near Okinawa [January 18, 2015]
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