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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 February 6 - 12  > US military fails to inform Japan of US helicopter emergency landing in Okinawa
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2019 February 6 - 12 [US FORCES]

US military fails to inform Japan of US helicopter emergency landing in Okinawa

February 11, 2019

A U.S. military helicopter made an emergency landing in an Okinawan village, but the villagers are being left uninformed and in the dark, Akahata learned on February 10.

According to Akahata, a U.S. Futenma-based AH-1Z helicopter on February 2 crash-landed onto the premise of the U.S. military Irisunajima live-firing range in Okinawa's Tonaki Village. However, as of February 10, the Okinawa Defense Bureau said that it has not received any information from the U.S. side and that it is now checking with the U.S. authorities.

A villager in his 70s who was watching through a telescope something serious occurring at the U.S. facility said in an Akahata interview, "I'm worried because we don't know what is happening around us."

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Akamine Seiken on February 10 made an inquiry to the Defense Bureau about the incident. A defense official said in reply, "Since the event occurred within the U.S. training site, the U.S. forces do not necessarily have to report it to Japan." In response, Akamine demanded that the Defense Bureau properly explain to the villagers who are often worried about accidents.

The village communities are located three kilometers from Irisunajima, whose harbor is within the U.S. training territory. Last year, a forced landing of the same type of helicopter took place at the village heliport located at the harbor.

JCP local assemblyperson Uehara Tetsuaki said, "We villagers constantly suffer from the sounds of guns and explosions as well as flashes at night from the U.S. live-firing ground. We are forced to live next to constant danger."

Past related articles:
> US military aircraft makes emergency landing at civil airport in Okinawa [September 6, 2018]
> US Ospreys yet again forced to make emergency landings at civilian airport in Kagoshima [June 5, 2018]
> Two US military jets make emergency landing at SDF base [May 15, 2018]
> Forced landing incident of US military chopper recurs just 2 days after 1st one in Okinawa [January 9, 2018]
> US military helicopter makes emergency landing on Okinawa beach [January 7 and 9, 2018]
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