October 1, 2020 Ryukyu Shimpo
Ginowan – On September 29, Masanori Matsugawa, mayor of Ginowan City, spoke at City Hall about how it has been eight years since the deployment of MV-22 Osprey vertical takeoff and landing aircraft to Futenma Air Station. He called for “halving the number of osprey aircraft (there are currently 24) and for as many training exercises as possible to occur outside of Okinawa Prefecture.” He also demanded thorough safety management because the air base is surrounded by dense city areas.
When the osprey aircraft were deployed, Matsugawa was deputy mayor. On the day that the aircraft arrived on Futenma Air Station, Matsugawa watched them land from the roof of City Hall in Nodake. With him were Hirokazu Nakaima and Atsushi Sakima, who at the time were Governor of Okinawa and Mayor of Ginowan City respectively. Osprey aircraft produce low frequency sounds and a rumbling bass which can be felt in homes in Nodake when one of the planes flies overhead.
In his comments, Matsugawa reflected on the many accidents that occurred as the planes were coming into use. The U.S. Military has asked Okinawans to be understanding of the flight training, but Matsugawa says, “We can’t just agree to this.’” He continues, “We have to demand that they make sure there are no aviation accidents.”
(English translation by T&CT and Ellen Huntley)