Rally calling for removal of Osprey

Rally calling for removal of Osprey

On March 17, at Shirohara in Ginoza, local people held a rally calling for an immediate end to Osprey crew training.

March 18, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

On March 17, in a hall in Shirohara in Ginoza, local people held a protest rally against the deployment of the Osprey. Since being deployed in Okinawa these aircraft have carried out low-flying and night-time training over Shirohara Ward.

About 120 people, almost half of the residents of the ward, took part in the rally. Hoping to regain a quiet life, they adopted a resolution calling for (1) an immediate end to Osprey flight training above Shirohara and (2) a swift removal of the landing area. In cooperation with Ginoza Mayor Atsushi Toma, Shirohara Ward will send this resolution to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Barack Obama, and to the U.S. forces in Okinawa and the Okinawa Defense Bureau.

On behalf of the rally organizers, Ward Chief Jiko Omine stated, “We have suffered from noise and vibration from the training throughout the day and night. We cannot allow this to become an accepted everyday occurrence.”

People from all age categories spoke – from elementary school pupils to members of senior citizens’ clubs and the administrative committee. Shuji Arakawa and Yui Inamine, both fourth grade pupils of Kanna Elementary School, said that the noise has disturbed their classes and that they will continue to protest until the government removes the Osprey aircraft, even if it takes five or ten years.

Tadanobu Izumi, who lives very near the landing area at Shirohara, said, “President Obama, please take the Osprey back to the United States. Prime Minister Abe, please give us back our peaceful environment, in which there are no Osprey.”

(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)

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