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Fall of US Military Copter Part on Okinawa School Injures a Child

14 Décembre 2017

An American military helicopter's window has fallen onto the sports field of a primary school on the Japanese island of Okinawa, infuriating the locals about the heavy U.S. presence.

A student was slightly injured by small stones that were blown by the wind when the object fell on the playground of the school in the city of Ginowan, located just next to the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

There were no reports of serious injuries from the accident that took place at 10:09am local time at an elementary school near the Futenma marine airbase.

Last week, a part of another U.S. military helicopter fell on a nearby kindergarten roof, but no-one was hurt. The aircraft immediately returned to MCAS Futenma and reported the incident. The object was discovered to be a helicopter window, complete with the frame, that had fallen off an American CH-53 aircraft flying above the school grounds.

Okinawans are frustrated by the noise, crime and accidents linked to US bases.

Proximity between the Futenma air base and elementary school.   Google Maps  Business Insider
Proximity between the Futenma air base and elementary school. Google Maps Business Insider

The Futenma airbase is already a major source of mistrust between Japan's central government and Okinawa over a wider U.S. military relocation programme signed between Tokyo and Washington in 1996.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said: "This sort of incident creates anxiety not only among those involved with the school but the people of Okinawa and should never happen".

The Japanese and USA governments struck an accord in 1996 on the return of land used for the Futenma base after public anger was fueled over the 1995 rape of a local girl by three American servicemen.

A U.S. Marines CH-53E helicopter made an emergency landing and burst into flames in a U.S. military training area in northern Okinawa in October.

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Fall of US Military Copter Part on Okinawa School Injures a Child