Nine educational institutions release statement against US military flights over schools

Nine educational institutions release statement against US military flights over schools

In the afternoon of March 7 at the prefectural press club, principals of the nine universities and higher education institutions in Okinawa requested suspension of U.S. military flights over schools.


March 8, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo


On March 7 at the Prefectural Office, the heads of nine educational institutions in Okinawa including the president of the University of the Ryukyus Hajime Oshiro held a press conference and released a joint statement requesting that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Trump stop U.S. military flights over educational institutions in Okinawa.

Repeated crash landings and falling objects from military aircraft have prompted these institutions to send a joint statement to the Japanese and U.S. governments on March 2.

The statement requests that the U.S. military stop flights, review the airspace designated for training, comply with restrictions on flight speed, investigate the causes of accidents, and suggest recurrence prevention measures.


This statement mentions the incident in which a window fell from a U.S. helicopter onto the grounds of Futenma Daini Elementary School in December last year.

It says, “It was a serious accident, and the impact on educators in Okinawa was tremendous.”

As representatives of higher education institutions, these school presidents pledge in their statement to keep their voices raised against the way that unexpected situations such as successive US military aircraft accidents and troubles are overlooked.


Since 2013 the nine top higher education institutions have been requesting that flights over universities cease.

This is the sixth time.

The next most recent request was made in July, but another series of accidents has made them request again.

University of the Ryukyus President Oshiro emphasized, “Accidents are occurring one after another. It is a crisis. As an entrusted educational institution, there is an obligation to maintain the safety of the educational site.”


Faculties from other universities are also calling for flights to be suspended.

President of Okinawa Christian University and Junior College Hiroshi Tomori said, “To tolerate [the flights] would mean accepting the current situation in Okinawa. That should not be done.”



(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana)


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