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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 August 14 - 20  > US copter crash could pollute Okinawans drinking water source: Naha City Assembly
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2013 August 14 - 20 [OKINAWA]

US copter crash could pollute Okinawans drinking water source: Naha City Assembly

August 14, 2013
The Naha City Assembly in Okinawa Prefecture, at its extraordinary session convened on August 13, unanimously adopted a resolution in protest against the Japanese and U.S. governments over the crash of a U.S. military HH-60 helicopter.

The U.S. chopper on August 5 crashed in a mountainous area within USMC Camp Hansen (Ginoza Village).

Noting that the crash occurred at a location only 2 km away from residential areas and 20 meters from a dam, a main source of drinking water for Okinawans, the resolution raises concern that the crash could pollute the water stored in the dam. It criticizes the crash as “extremely serious”.

Since Okinawa’s reversion to Japan in 1972, the number of aviation accidents by the U.S. military totals 540 (as of the end of 2012), which include 45 crashes such as the F-15 fighter jet crash in waters off Okinawa in May.

The resolution stresses, “A U.S. military aircraft crash will happen again and again as long as U.S. bases remain in Okinawa.”

In the resolution, the city assembly urged the two governments to implement drastic countermeasures, including imposing a halt to flight and training exercises of U.S. military airplanes over residential areas; allowing local governments and relevant authorities to inspect the latest crash site; conducting a thorough investigation into the cause of the crash and swiftly providing information on the results; revising the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement fundamentally; and cancelling the additional Osprey deployment and taking them out of the prefecture.

On the same day, delegates of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly visited the Prime Minister’s Official Residence, the Defense Ministry, and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo to submit a protest resolution unanimously adopted on the previous day.
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