Okinawa Prefectural Fisheries Cooperative leaders protest U.S. military helicopter crash
August 20, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo
On August 12, a U.S. Army Special Operations MH-60M Black Hawk helicopter crashed on a U.S. Navy cargo vessel off the shore of Uruma City. In response, on August18, the presidents of 36 regional fisheries cooperatives making up the Okinawa Prefectural Fisheries Cooperative Presidents’ Association unanimously adopted a protest resolution demanding thorough measures toward preventing future incidents. At a general meeting held at Okinawa Fisheries Assembly Hall in Naha the same day, the president of Yonashiro Fisheries Cooperative proposed an urgent motion to address the resolution.
The resolution identifies issues with the crash site, such as its close proximity to a great number of payaos (artificial floating reefs where fish congregate), and a preferred fishing spot, which hosts the highest level of mozuku seaweed cultivation in Okinawa. It also points out that if similar incidents occur during fishing operations, the U.S. military runs the risk of aircraft crashing onto fishermen’s boats. With this resolution, the presidents’ association is calling for the Ministry of Defense and the Okinawa Defense Bureau (ODB) to put pressure on the U.S. military to prevent future accidents around Uruma.
Officials of the presidents’ association working for the prefectural fisheries cooperative intend to jointly sign the resolution, which could be written up and submitted to the ODB by the end of this month.
Kameichi Uehara, the president of the Okinawa Prefectural Fisheries Cooperative, said that the crash site was outside of the sea area provided for U.S. military training grounds, so the accident should not have occurred at all. Furthermore, he said that it is the duty of the Government of Japan to urge the U.S. military to prevent future incidents.
(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)
Previous Article:Container cargo handled at Naha Port reaches record high of 3.92 million tons
Next Article:Religious parties unite to oppose Abe’s controversial security bills
- U.S. Navy deflects call for explanation about damages to tuna fishing boats
- U.S. military helicopter crashes in training area near village
- Partial out-of-court bargaining offered for US military-related damage to fishing
- Okinawa Prefecture Fishery Cooperative to claim damages from the U.S. military over fishing boat line-cutting
- Government to expand restricted area for fishing two kilometers off the coast of Henoko