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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 July 14 - 27  > Okinawa Prefectural Assembly unanimously resolves to protest against US military’s container drop accident
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2021 July 14 - 27 [US FORCES]

Okinawa Prefectural Assembly unanimously resolves to protest against US military’s container drop accident

July 22 & 27, 2021

The Okinawa Prefectural Assembly on July 26 at an extraordinary meeting unanimously adopted a resolution and a statement in protest against an accident in which a U.S. military helicopter dropped a steel container into the sea near Tonaki Village in the prefecture.

The accident occurred on July 13. A steel container hanging from a CH-53E transport helicopter stationed at the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station fell between Tonaki Island and Irisuna Island where a U.S. military firing range is located.

In the two documents addressed to the Japanese and U.S. governments as well as to the U.S. forces, Okinawa legislators pointed out that Okinawans are forced to live a life facing constant danger of military mishaps on the sea as well as on land. They demanded a halt to transportation and flight drills involving hanging objects and a drastic revision of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement including the return of a portion of vast airspace and water space provided for U.S. military’s training exercises in Okinawa.

Other demands in the two documents include a thorough investigation into the latest drop accident and a full disclosure of the results; the provision of prompt and accurate information when a U.S. military accident happens; and effective measures for safety management and prevention of accidents.

On July 21, Okinawa Vice Governor Jahana Kiichiro summoned the Defense Ministry’s local bureau head and the Foreign Ministry ambassador in charge of Okinawa affairs to the prefectural government office and lodged a protest against the container drop accident. He made a request similar to the prefectural assembly request to the Defense Bureau chief and the ambassador.
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