Governor Onaga will keep requesting suspension of all U.S. military flights after consecutive emergency landings

Governor Onaga will keep requesting suspension of all U.S. military flights after consecutive emergency landings

On January 9 just past 9:15 at the Prefectural Office, Governor Takeshi Onaga answers questions for a group of reporters concerning the recent U.S. military helicopter emergency landings including the one in Yomitan Village.


January 9, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo


On the morning of January 9 Governor Takeshi Onaga gave his response to the recent consecutive emergency landings of U.S. Marine Corps helicopters on Ikeijima and in Yomitan Village.

He said, “I am truly at a loss for words. I feel immense resentment once again as [the Japanese government] uses the phrases ‘burden reduction’ and ‘constitutional nation’ to push forward at its discretion.”

In addition, he expressed his intention to keep requesting the suspension of flights of all types U.S. military aircraft stationed in Okinawa.

He gave his responses to a group of reporters at the Prefectural Office.


Alluding to the structural issues that allow the U.S. and Japanese governments to ignore Okinawans’ concerns, Onaga also mentioned, “These matters are throwing Japan’s democracy and regional autonomy into question.

It isn’t simply an issue of a few emergency landings.”


When asked about the substance of his upcoming requests, Onaga said, “That is a matter for after I make this request for [suspension of] all aircraft flights.

[The Japanese government] cannot even address one single request, so with its lack of jurisdiction, how can I expect further requests to fare?”


Also on January 9 Vice Governor of Okinawa Moritake Tomikawa called Ambassador in charge of Okinawan Affairs Tsukasa Kawada and Director-General of the Okinawa Defense Bureau Koichiro Nakajima to the Prefectural Office in order to make an objection regarding the problem of U.S. military helicopter emergency landings in Okinawa.

Tomikawa made plans to travel to Tokyo the next day and make a direct objection to the Japanese government.


Tomikawa responded to the press on his way to work on January 9, saying, “I am astonished to the point that I must express it. This is an abnormal situation among abnormal circumstances.”

Furthermore he said, “There have been no responses to the requests that all equipment undergo safety checks and that a conference concerning Okinawa be convened. If Okinawans do not push hard for their requests, they will not be able to live peacefully.”



(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)



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