U.S. soldiers trespass on walking trail in Nago

U.S. soldiers trespass on walking trail in Nago

At around 4:30pm on March 26, at Aha in Nago, U.S. soldiers came out onto a walking trail in the Yambaru Discovery Forest. (Photograph provided by Yambaru Discovery Forest).

March 27, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

It has been confirmed that at around 4:30pm on March 26, more than a dozen U.S. soldiers walked on a track in the Yambaru Discovery Forest in Aha in Nago. According to the manager of the facility, Yasuo Yamakawa, who witnessed the scene, they entered the facility from the area near the walking trail and departed towards Aha Dam. They did not seem to be carrying firearms. “This is not a military training area. U.S. soldiers should not be allowed to come here like this,” Yamakawa said.

They were wearing camouflage fatigues and combat helmets and carried military backpacks. At the time, there were about 30 people, including elementary school pupils and tourists, taking part in a camp program, and some of them walked past the soldiers.

The Yambaru Discovery Forest is surrounded by the U.S. military Northern Training Area. At around 12:30am, a staff member of the facility saw an Osprey aircraft training at the helicopter landing zone LZ4 near the forest, and the soldiers in question are thought to have disembarked from that aircraft.

(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)

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