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US military helicopter makes emergency landing in Okinawa

23rd January 2018 - 17:08 GMT | by ​Agence France-Presse in Tokyo


A US military helicopter made an emergency landing on a remote Japanese island on 23 January, police and news reports said.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage from the landing at a heliport in Tonaki, a tiny island in Okinawa prefecture some 60 kms west of the main island, a police spokesman told AFP.

This month US Secretary of Defence James Mattis apologised to Japanese counterpart Itsunori Onodera after a string of accidents on the southern Japanese island, where more than half the 47,000 American troops in Japan are stationed.

Earlier in January, two US military helicopters separately made emergency landings in Okinawa. There were no injuries or damage.

In December 2017, a window from a US military helicopter fell onto a school sports ground near the Futenma marine air base in Okinawa, but again no one was injured.

In October 2017, a US military helicopter burst into flames after landing in an empty field on the island.

Such accidents have sparked opposition to the US bases on the strategic island, which would serve as a launchpad for any US military activity in Asia.

A series of crimes including rapes, assaults, hit-and-run and drink-driving accidents by US personnel have also triggered protests on Okinawa, and are a frequent irritant in relations between close security allies Japan and the US.

Okinawa was the site of a major World War II battle that was followed by a 27-year US occupation of the island.

​Agence France-Presse


​Agence France-Presse


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