Recent poll shows 72% of Okinawans deem Osprey “dangerous” as 68% suggest withdrawal

Recent poll shows 72% of Okinawans deem Osprey “dangerous” as 68% suggest withdrawal


 

September 28, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo

 

On September 23 and 24, the Ryukyu Shimpo conducted a public opinion poll among residents of Okinawa 18-years-old and above.

The poll was in relation to the deployment of MV-22 Osprey vertical takeoff and landing aircraft at Futenma Air Station, which have been deployed there for five years as of October 1.

Out of the poll respondents, 68.7 percent answered that Osprey deployment on Okinawa “should cease,” while 11.3 percent thought that Osprey “deployment is necessary.

” As for the safety of these aircraft, 72.7 percent of respondents said, “I think they are dangerous.”

When respondents were asked about the Japanese government’s handling of the August Osprey crash off the coast of Australia, wherein the government requested that flying these aircraft be refrained from for a short period but accepted flight resumption soon after, 80 percent stated that they “do not approve” of it.

This poll has once again thrown into relief the anxieties and concerns that many Okinawans have been bearing over the course of these five years of MV-22 Osprey deployment.

These poll results demonstrate Okinawans’ position against relocation of Futenma Air Station within Okinawa, with 80 percent in opposition.

Regarding placement of Futenma relocation, 34.8 percent said it should be “outside of Japan,” 24.3 percent responded “it should be removed and not relocated,” 21.1 percent thought it should be moved “outside of Okinawa,” and 14 percent replied that Futenma “should be relocated to Henoko.”

The three answers that oppose relocation within Okinawa (outside Japan, remove not relocate, and outside Okinawa) combined accounts for 80.2 percent of the respondents.

That is an increase of 6 percentage points since a related public opinion poll conducted in May.

 

In April, the Japanese government took up embankment work in construction of the replacement facility in Henoko, without first getting reef crushing approval from Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga.

The majority of poll respondents, 54.9 percent, said they “support” the Okinawa prefectural government bringing a lawsuit against the Japanese government over reef crushing.

 

Governor Onaga has said he will “use every possible means” to halt construction of the new Henoko base.

He disclosed his plan to invalidate former governor Hirokazu Nakaima’s land reclamation approval through revoking that approval.

There is increasing interest in the matter of revocation, the timing of which Onaga has yet to specify.

Some poll respondents said he “should immediately revoke it” at 42.8 percent, while 33.3 percent said he “should further build his case, then revoke it.”

 

Method of Conducting the Public Opinion Poll

 

The poll was conducted on September 23 and 24.

Respondents were Okinawa residents 18-years-old and above.

It was conducting with random digit dialing (RDD), a method by which a computer generates phone numbers randomly and calls those numbers.

There were 1,019 households called, and poll responses were received from 519 people.

 

(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)

 

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