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Japanese protest against Osprey exercise

10-04-2012 20:17 BJT

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By CCTV correspondent James Kim

The US has begun exercises in Okinawa involving the "Osprey" transport aircraft, without notifying local residents. This has intensified protests against the Ospreys as well as against the US base in Okinawa.

An end to the Ospreys in Japan - That’s what 60 local residents who gathered in front of Futenma Airport Thursday morning were demanding.

They voiced their strong opposition against the deployment of the Ospreys by the US. Protesters also publicized the possible dangers posed by the aircraft.

Okinawa resident, said, "The US repeatedly claimed that Ospreys themselves are safe and crashing has been caused by operational errors, but be it the design problems or the operational mistakes, stop flying over us, you dangerous airplanes that tend to crash."

Nine ospreys arrived at Futenma Airport from the US Marines’ Iwakuni Air Station on Tuesday. Their flight plans and flying patterns violated provisions Japan and the US had agreed to in September.

At around 9 a.m. Thursday, an Osprey suddenly took off and flew over the protesters. This, again, aroused intense condemnation.

Shinchi Taira, chief of Anti-US Base Organization, said, "Generally Japanese people think the US bases are protecting Japan, but this is completely wrong and absurd."

Taira Shinchi also said the real purpose of the US is to maintain its position in the Asia-Pacific Region. He organized people to fly balloons to disrupt the Ospreys’ flights. Meanwhile, he hopes daily protests will make more Japanese people realize the necessity to oppose the deployment of the aircraft and US bases in general.

 

Editor:Zhang Dan |Source: CCTV.com

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