Vice governor protests the government for the fall of F-15 machine part

Vice governor protests the government for the fall of F-15 machine part

Vice-governor Moritake Tomikawa handing a letter of protest to Tsukasa Kawada (Ambassador in charge of Okinawan Affairs) and Koichiro Nakajima (Okinawa Defense Bureau Chief)


March 9, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo


Regarding the fall of a machine part from an F-15 combat plane from the U.S. Kadena air force base, it was revealed on March 8 that it took six days for the headquarters of the 18th Air Wing to acknowledge the accident after it had occurred.

Chief of the Okinawa Defense Bureau, Koichiro Nakajima, explained after he was called to the Prefectural Government office on March 8.

The Ambassador in charge of Okinawan Affairs, Tsukasa Kawada, also attended the meeting.

Okinawa Prefecture requested the officers work with the U.S. military to suspend operation of the same combat plane until the cause of the accident is clarified.

The prefecture also requested the U.S. military’s recognition of the communication system put in place in case of emergencies, which was agreed upon in the US-Japan joint committee.

Chief Nakajima explained the reason why the Japanese and local government was not informed about the accident until later was, “The accident happened on February 27, but the 18th Air Wing only acknowledged the accident on March 5, and then contacted Japanese authorities.”

In response to a question by the vice-governor of Okinawa, Moritake Tomikawa, who asked, “Does it mean the communication was delayed between the subordinate agencies and the superior agencies within the U.S. military?”

Chief Nakajima agreed and responded, “We are currently making an inquiry to the U.S. military side to know more details.”


Vice-governor Tomikawa pointed out, “It is said that the U.S. military recognizes that they do not always report about machine parts falling if it happens over water.”

Although there was no detailed response provided by the officers, vice-governor Tomikawa stated that, “For the people of Okinawa, it doesn’t matter whether the falls happened on water or on land. Falls are falls. The probability of parts falling on a person’s head is still high” demanding the U.S. military improve their recognition.


(English translation by T&CT and Sayaka Sakuma)


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