Okinawa Prefectural Assembly passes resolution asking for immediate closure of MCAS Futenma


February 2, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo


On January 1 the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly unanimously adopted a protest resolution and written statement at an extraordinary session in response to issues with U.S. military helicopters.

These issues include recent successive emergency landings by U.S. military helicopters, the incident in which a window part from a helicopter fell onto the grounds of Futenma Daini Elementary School, and helicopters flying in the sky over this school.


Instead of waiting for the closure of Futenma Air Station in February 2019, within the five-year period promised to the Okinawa Prefectural Government by the Government of Japan, the resolution and statement request an immediate closure of the base.

They also request that U.S. military flight exercises over schools, hospitals, or residences be halted.

This is the first time the Prefectural Assembly has requested an immediate closure of Futenma Air Station.


Furthermore, the resolution and statement request that (1) the U.S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement be drastically revised, the Act on Special Provisions of the Civil Aeronautics Act based on the SOFA be abolished so that the U.S. military will be subject to Japan’s civil aeronautics law, and that (2) the U.S Marine Corps be relocated out of Okinawa and out of Japan quickly.

The resolution and statement indicate that, “It is highly unusual for three consecutive emergency landing incidents to occur within the period of only about half of a month.”

Moreover, the documents criticized that even after the incident of a helicopter window part falling onto the grounds of Futenma Daini Elementary, “those calling to ban flying over schools have simply been ignored.”

In addition, these documents point out that flight exercises were resumed before an adequate explanation into the cause of the incidents was provided.

Already Okinawans’ calls for the withdrawal of the Marines Corps from Okinawa are spreading.


The Prefectural Assembly is currently working out the details of its plan to submit the resolution and statement next week to the U.S. Forces Japan in Okinawa, the U.S. Consulate in Okinawa, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Okinawa Liaison Office, the Okinawa Defense Bureau, and perhaps others.


(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)


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