NAHA -- The Okinawa Prefectural Assembly approved a resolution on Aug. 28 demanding the pullout of all MV-22 Osprey aircraft from the prefecture following a series of accidents, as well as all U.S. Marine units.
The resolution, as well as a formal statement of opinion also passed by the assembly, furthermore called for the closure of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma -- where the Ospreys are now based -- within five years. The vote came following the crash earlier this month of an Osprey off the coast of Australia. The aircraft involved in the incident was based at Futenma.
The resolution was submitted to the assembly by the ruling faction of Gov. Takeshi Onaga, which is opposed to the Futenma base's planned relocation to the city of Nago's Henoko district, or to anywhere else within Okinawa Prefecture.
The assembly resolution points out that "prefectural residents are increasingly worried about crashes" after another U.S. Marine Osprey crash-landed just off the Nago shore in December last year. Furthermore, "Anger over the (U.S. military's) dismissive attitude to Okinawans, exemplified by using the claim of operational necessity to continue to ignore the voices of prefectural citizens, cannot be stopped," the resolution stated, referring to the U.S. military resuming Osprey flights in Japan just two days after the Australia crash despite the Japanese government requesting a suspension.
Regarding the Japanese government, the resolution declares that Tokyo should "respond resolutely to the United States based on the firm determination to reduce the military base burden borne by the people of Okinawa."