People gather at 11th anniversary of US helicopter crash on Okinawa International University
August 13, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo
Eleven years ago, a CH-53D Stallion helicopter from the Futenma Air Station crashed onto Okinawa International University on August 13. A gathering was held at the university on August 13 at around 2 p.m., the same time the accident occurred, to reflect on Okinawa and the issue of Futenma Air Station.
President of the university Tamotsu Oshiro reflected on the ongoing risks to people’s safety.
“Another helicopter crash happened again on August 12. As long as the military aircraft are flying over Okinawa, accidents can happen in Okinawa anytime. With such happenings caused only because of the existence of the U.S. military bases, people of Okinawa gain nothing but anxiety, fear, and frustration,” he said.
Ginowan City Mayor Atsushi Sakima held a press conference and called for the early return of Futenma Air Station and the removal of its danger. Mayor Sakima referred to the helicopter crash, which happened offshore from Uruma City on August 12. He stated, “After watching the photos and videos of the destroyed aircraft, the citizens can not help recalling the scene from the crash from 11 years ago. I hope the authorities work on urgent return of the land.”
(English translation by T&CT and Sayaka Sakuma)
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