USA military chopper drops window frame on to Okinawa school grounds

Frederick Owens
December 14, 2017

A window of a US military transport helicopter fell from the aircraft and onto the grounds of an elementary school in Okinawa Prefecture on Wednesday, injuring one student and sparking a harsh backlash from local officials.

A window fell out of a United States helicopter and landed in a school sports ground in southern Japan in an incident likely to fuel tensions between military and residents.

A 10-year-old boy at a school in Okinawa was slightly injured when a transport helicopter from a nearby U.S. Marine Corps base lost a windshield as it flew overhead.

But Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga and many other people in the southern island prefecture, which hosts the bulk of USA military facilities in Japan, want the Futenma base to be removed from the prefecture altogether.

A window fell from a USA military helicopter onto a school field in Okinawa.

After the incident, the aircraft returned to Futenma to report the incident, the Marines stated in the press release.

Protesters raise placards reading Anger was over the limit during a rally against the U.S. military presence on the island and a series of crimes and other incidents involving U.S. soldiers and base workers at a park in the prefectural capital Naha on Ja

"The fact that it fell right in the middle of the playground is bad and unforgivable", he told reporters during a visit to the school, according to Japanese public broadcaster NHK.

One elementary school student was just five meters away from the object when it crashed to the ground, city assembly members who visited the site said.

Proximity between the Futenma air base and elementary school.

Local police and investigators in collaboration with the U.S. Military and regional Defense Bureau were investigating the detailed information related to the accident, authorities said Wednesday.

Takehiro Kamiya, the nursery school's principal, said Tuesday, "I don't want the prefectural and central governments to accept without question what the USA military says". "Despite repeated accidents, US military officials would not lend their ears to our concerns". "These [incidents] happen because there are bases [here] and Okinawan people are exposed to [this] danger".

Today, the United States still retains 26,000 United States troops and 33 military bases on Okinawa, the BBC and Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported.

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