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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 October 1 - 7  > US Ospreys have had their own way for two years
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2014 October 1 - 7 [US FORCES]

US Ospreys have had their own way for two years

October 6, 2014
Two years have passed since the U.S. Marine Corps’ tilt-rotor aircraft Ospreys were deployed in Okinawa in defiance of the strong public opposition. The crash-prone aircraft have been flying over residential areas in violation of a prior agreement.

At present, 24 Ospreys are stationed at the U.S. Futenma Air Station in Okinawa’s Ginowan City. In deploying the aircraft, both the U.S. and Japanese administrations promised to restrict their flights after 10 p.m. as well as ban them from flying over densely populated districts.

The Ginowan city government’s survey shows that Ospreys made flights 888 times between October 2012 and September 2013. The number of times increased to 1,454 between October 2013 and September 2014. Meanwhile, Ospreys flew 60 times after 10 p.m. from April 2013 to March 2014.

Miyagi Zenko, 70, who lives near the base said, “They often fly directly over the roof of my house. I’m always worried that they might crash right on our heads.”

Zenko’s wife Misako, 72, said, “I cannot use the phone due to the noise. They are flying overhead incessantly. Our living environment is worsening and we are under great stress every day.”

As of October 2, the city received 194 complaints from citizens since April this year. Some of them said, “I cannot sleep even after midnight because of the noise,” and “I feel as if I’m near a battleground.”

Japanese Communist Party member of the Ginowan City Assembly Chinen Yoshio pointed out that the U.S. military is increasing its training exercises at the Futenma base in line with its plan to step up military exercises and deployments abroad.

Under the guise of “alleviating the burden on Okinawa”, the Japanese government allows the U.S. to conduct Osprey flight training exercises throughout the country. Miyagi Misako said, “The government continues to lie and our suffering will continue as long as the military base remains. I hope all the U.S. bases in Japan will be removed as soon as possible.”

Past related article:
> Citizens protest against Osprey’s first drill in eastern Japan [August 20, 2014]
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