Nago City Council formally objects to resumption of Osprey flight training in Okinawa

January 25, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo online edition

On January 25, the Nago City Council voted on a written statement and protest resolution objecting to the resumption of Osprey flight training while there has yet to be sufficient investigation into the cause of the Osprey accident that occurred in Abu, Nago, in December last year. The statement and resolution, which contain four demands including suspension of Osprey flight training and aerial refueling training exercises, was adopted by majority vote. Also included in the demands were that the U.S. Marine Corps retrieve all of the wreckage from the vicinity of the Osprey crash site, remove Osprey from Okinawa, and cease Henoko base construction where Osprey would be deployed.

There were 15 votes in favor of the statement and resolution in total: 13 from the council’s ruling party faction and 2 from the Komeito faction. In total 11 votes were cast against, all from the council’s opposition party members. The written statement is addressed among others to the prime minister, the minister for foreign affairs, and the minister of defense; the protest resolution is addressed to the U.S. ambassador to Japan and the commander of the U.S. Forces Japan, among others. These documents point out that the US military has gone against its word by resuming Osprey flight training. It furthermore says that Okinawans absolutely cannot accept that Japanese government’s stance of prioritizing military affairs and the preferences of the United States while Okinawan citizens’ lives and property are trampled underfoot.

(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)

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