September 18, 2019 Ryukyu Shimpo
Nine of Okinawa’s universities and specialized vocational schools held a press conference at the Okinawa Prefectural Government Press Club on September 17, and announced they have jointly filed a formal request with the Japanese and American governments to bar U.S. military aircrafts from flying above educational institutions and its premises.
The request was lodged with the Japanese government on August 9, and with the U.S. government on August 23.
The letter reasons that “the noise caused by military aircrafts during takeoff, landing, and flying is a hinderance to daily educational and research activities, conferences, and student life,” and calls for restrictions.
President Eiken Maezu of Okinawa International University and others stated during the press conference: “We filed another request for a flight ban this year, in an effort to improve the current situation, rather than giving it tacit approval.”
The petition was signed by: The University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa Christian University and Okinawa Christian Junior College, Okinawa University, Okinawa Women’s Junior College, Okinawa International University, Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts, Meio University, Okinawa Prefectural College of Nursing, and the National Institute of Technology Okinawa College.
The letter was addressed to the Japanese prime minister, foreign minister, defense minister, the president of the United States, U.S. secretary of state, U.S. secretary of defense, chargé d’affaires ad interim U.S. embassy Tokyo, U.S. consul general in Okinawa, commander of U.S. forces Japan, and Okinawa area coordinator for U.S. forces Japan.
(English translation by T&CT and Monica Shingaki)