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US military denies object that fell on Okinawa day care dropped from Marine chopper

The cylindrical object thought to have fallen from a U.S. military aircraft onto the roof of Midorigaoka day care center in the Okinawa Prefecture city of Ginowan is seen in this photo provided by center head Takehiro Kamiya, on Dec. 7, 2017.

GINOWAN, Okinawa -- The U.S. military denied on Dec. 11 that an object that dropped onto the roof of a day care facility here on Dec. 7 fell from an aircraft based at the nearby U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

The U.S. military communicated its position to Koichiro Nakajima, director-general of the Defense Ministry's Okinawa Defense Bureau, who revealed it at a meeting with Ginowan Mayor Atsushi Sakima.

U.S. forces have apparently admitted that the cylindrical object found on the day care center roof was indeed a cover for a part of a helicopter, and that a CH-53 transport helicopter had taken off from Futenma just before the object was found at the facility. However, the U.S. military claims that all seven of the covers on the helicopter had been removed before flight as required, and that none of the covers for the CH-53 choppers at the base were missing.

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