Tonaki Village Council protests against parts of US Marine helicopter falling near Tonaki

January 22, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

Parts of a U.S. Marine AH- attack helicopter belonging to the Futenma base fell during flight in training airspace near Irisuna Island, Tonaki on January 15. The parts weighed more than 200 kilograms, including a hellfire missile launcher. In a meeting held on January 21, the Tonaki Village Council unanimously resolved to protest against the accident and file a written statement on it.

On January 22, Tonaki Villiage Mayor Noboru Uehara and the council members visited the Okinawa Defense Bureau. They handed over the document to the bureau and directly protested about the accident. The resolution letter will be sent to the U.S. Consul- General in Okinawa.

In the resolution, the council members pointed out the accident took place along a route for liners and fish boats that connects to the main island of Okinawa, Tonaki Island, and Kume Island in the southwestern area. They strongly stated that it could have been a potentially disastrous accident.

The council asked the U.S. military to announce the cause of the accident, and plans for safety management and recurrence prevention. It also demanded swift disclosure of related information when accidents occur.

(English translation by T&CT)

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