University presidents in Okinawa denounce military aircraft flying over campus grounds
September 13, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo
On September 12, the presidents of nine universities in Okinawa issued a statement in response to the U.S. military’s helicopter (HH-60) crash. The statement called for the U.S. military to stop flight training over and around the property of the universities.
On the same day, President of University of the Ryukyus Hajime Oshiro, President of Okinawa Christian University and Junior College Toshiaki Nakahara and Vice President of Meio University Katsumi Yamazato held a press conference at the University of the Ryukyus in Nishihara. They denounced the flight of U.S. military planes over the universities as being unforgivable from global standards of civilization. It is the second time that the nine universities’ presidents have issued a joint statement since the U.S. marine helicopter crash onto Okinawa International University in 2004. They will send the statement to the Japanese and U.S. governments and various related organizations.
Eight presidents of University of the Ryukyus, Meio University, Okinawa Prefectural College of Nursing, Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts, Okinawa International University, Okinawa University, Okinawa Christian University and Junior College, Okinawa Women’s Junior College put their names to the statement in which they asked the U.S. military to stop flight training. The statement said, “We feel it is most regrettable that the noise of U.S. aircraft flying over our campuses disrupts lectures for our students, our research, and campus life in general.”
President of Okinawa Christian University and Junior College, Nakahara, said, “By rights, universities are there to provide education and study in a quiet environment. U.S. military aircraft flying overhead prevents this.” Meio University Vice President, Yamazato, complained, “The airspace above Okinawa’s universities has become a crossroads for military aircraft. By normal international standards, this is unacceptable.”
(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)
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