The blaze was still being contained as of 7:35 p.m., an Okinawa Prefectural Police spokesman said.
The aircraft's crew made an emergency landing in a field near Okinawa's Northern Training Area, a sprawling stretch of rainforest used by USA forces for jungle training.
The CH-53E Super Stallion, which belongs to 1st MAW, forward-based in Japan, had been conducting "regularly scheduled training" when the in-flight fire occurred, officials said.
Officials said no crew members or civilians were injured in the emergency landing, and local first responders were able to arrive at the site and extinguish the fire quickly.
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Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga told a press conference that he felt very indignant about the incident and had required the US military to ground choppers of the same type until the cause of the incident is determined.
The U.S. military training area has landing zones for choppers that are shared by U.S. military Osprey aircraft.
Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said he had urged the US forces in Okinawa to provide more information and to take measures to prevent the incidents from happening again.
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