Okinawa adopts resolution protesting U.S. helicopter crash, calls for use of helipads to be scrapped

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-16 17:04:33|Editor: An
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TOKYO, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Okinawa prefectural assembly on Monday adopted a resolution protesting the recent crash-landing of a U.S. military transport helicopter near a residential area in Japan's southernmost prefecture.

The assembly's resolution referred to the fact that since six new helipads have been built at the U.S. Northern Training Area, drills over private land and property close to the training area have increased of late.

The assembly's resolution was unanimous and separately the local authority sent a strongly worded statement to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe saying that last Wednesday's crash-landing of a U.S. military CH-53E transport helicopter, was "on the verge of being a major disaster."

The assembly, in calling for a halt to the use of the helipads by the U.S. military, also demanded that training exercises over private and residential areas be stopped.

"It was a great shock to Okinawa residents, who are forced to lead life alongside military bases. The anxiety and fear of local residents are immeasurable," the assembly said, referring to local residents' disproportionate base hosting burdens.

Okinawa hosts the majority of U.S. military facilities in Japan, yet the tiny sub-tropical island accounts for just a tiny percentage of Japan's total land mass.

Officials and citizens in Okinawa have long-suffered from incidents of U.S. military accidents and crimes committed by military or affiliated personnel and are calling for their base-hosting burdens to be lifted.