Governor Onaga says Okinawans are disregarded as Osprey aerial refueling training resumes
January 5, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo
On the evening of January 5, Governor Takeshi Onaga commented in an interview on the resumption of aerial refueling training exercises of MV-22 Osprey vertical takeoff and landing aircraft scheduled for the next day, following the recent crash on the shore of Abu, Nago. He says that at the same time that the Japanese government declares it is considering the feelings of Okinawans, it takes the stance of making the American military’s demands its highest priority. Additionally he insists that, “This causes great harm to the relationship of mutual trust [between Japan and Okinawa], and therefore we feel strong resentment.”
On top of this Onaga mentions that, as has been the Japanese government’s usual approach up to now, it unilaterally announced the resumption of training exercises without listening to the opinions of Okinawans. He says he is deeply dismayed this approach is being used again as the government disregards Okinawans.
Onaga stresses his intention to continue diligently pushing for the withdrawal of Osprey deployment in Okinawa. Additionally, he shares his idea to request an arrangement from the U.S. and Japanese governments that will let Okinawans be included in discussions between the U.S. military and Japanese government.
(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)
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