Ginoza Village to receive compensation more than four years after 2013 US military helicopter crash


October 17, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo


On October 16, the Okinawa Defense Bureau revealed to the Ryukyu Shimpo that earlier this month, it was decided that the Bureau will pay damages to the village of Ginoza in relation to costs incurred by the village after a U.S. military aircraft crash in August 2013.

After the accident, in which an HH-60 rescue helicopter belonging to Kadena Air Base crashed over Camp Hansen, the village was forced to stop water collection from the Okawa dam roughly 70 meters from the crash site and incurred around 6.5 million yen to secure alternate sources of water and conduct other measures.

The decision to pay damages was not made until more than four years after the accident.


Immediately after the accident, the U.S. Marines’ survey of the site revealed levels of lead more than 74 times the environmental standard value set forth in Japan’s Soil Contamination Countermeasures Act, and levels of arsenic more than 21 times the environmental standard value.


Out of concern that rain would cause the contaminants to run into the dam, the village of Ginoza stopped using water supplied from the dam for one year.

During that period, the village incurred roughly 6.5 million yen for water-quality inspections, maintenance fees for the water pump at the Kanna dam, and other measures, and it therefore requested compensation from the national government.


(English translation by T&CT and Sandi Aritza)


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