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Letter of Protest from Governor Onaga to Lt. Gen. Nicholson with regard to Crash of MV-22 Osprey (English translation of the original Japanese document)

Lieutenant General Lawrence D. Nicholson
Commanding Officer
III Marine Expeditionary Force
United States Forces Japan

Re: Crash of MV-22 Osprey (Protest)

It was announced that a U.S. military aircraft, MV-22 Osprey, conducted a landing in shallow water about one (1) km off the east coast of Nago City approximately at 9:30 PM on December 13, 2016. However, under the circumstances where the fuselage is wrecked, Okinawa Prefectural Government understands that the event is a crash.

As anxiety about Ospreys has not been dispelled at all among the people of Okinawa, Okinawa Prefectural Government has been requesting the withdrawal of deployment of Ospreys. Our anxiety became a reality and we are greatly shocked.

The accident occurred at the point very close to the local community of Abu of Nago City. Therefore, this community could sustain extremely severe damages. One accident could result in a serious accident affecting people’s lives and properties. It is, therefore, extremely regrettable that such an accident took place.

Furthermore, an Osprey with an object suspended with a rope flying above the residential area was confirmed in Shirohara area in Ginoza Village on 6th of this month. We strongly protested the U.S. Forces, and strongly urged them to give sufficient considerations for the residents living nearby. However, such flight training of Ospreys has been confirmed frequently. We have no choice but to say that the U.S. military’s response of ignoring the anxiety among and safety of Okinawan people resulted in this accident.

We, Okinawa Prefectural Government, cannot contain our anger and strongly protest the accident like this caused by an Osprey whose deployment the people of Okinawa have been strongly opposed to. We also strongly urge the U.S. Forces to immediately suspend the flight of Ospreys and the withdrawal of the deployment of Ospreys.

Takeshi Onaga
Governor of Okinawa Prefecture

Note: This document has been translated from the Japanese original for reference purpose only. In the event of any discrepancy between this translated document and the Japanese original, the original shall prevail.