Okinawa locals want US to stop using helipads

From NHK

People living near the site where an American military helicopter made an emergency landing in Okinawa Prefecture will ask authorities to demand the US military stop using helipads situated around their district.

Fourteen representatives of the Takae district in Higashi Village met on Thursday, one day after the incident. They decided to request the Okinawa defense bureau make the demand and offer locals an explanation and apology.

Fire broke out on a CH-53 helicopter based at the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station while it was on a training flight. The chopper made an emergency landing on privately owned grazing land in Takae and burst into flames.

The landing site is about 300 meters from the nearest house and is located close to the US military's Northern Training Area.

Last December, the United States returned around half of the training area to Japanese administration in return for the completion of 6 military helipads that surround the district.

District leader Kumiko Nakamine said she wonders when residents' concerns will be dispelled. She added she will lodge a stronger request than before to prevent any recurrence.
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abc

Author:abc
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