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Okinawa governor says U.S. military 'crazy, 'out of control'

By
Ray Downs
Okinawa governor Takeshi Onaga speaks to reporters at the Daini Futenma Elementary School in Okinawa on Dec. 13 where the window of a U.S. military helicopter fell. Photo by Hitoshi Maeshiro/EPA-EFE
Okinawa governor Takeshi Onaga speaks to reporters at the Daini Futenma Elementary School in Okinawa on Dec. 13 where the window of a U.S. military helicopter fell. Photo by Hitoshi Maeshiro/EPA-EFE

Jan. 26 (UPI) -- The governor of Okinawa criticized the U.S. military on Wednesday after Marine Corps helicopters made a third emergency landing in the prefecture this month.

"The U.S. military is out of control," Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga said, the Japan Times reported. "They can't exercise any oversight, there are no signs they will reform and the Japanese government can't handle them."

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"Indeed, the whole U.S. military is going crazy," Onaga added.

According to Japan Today, Onaga's use of the word "crazy" was a reference to Lt. Gen Lawrence Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Okinawa, who reportedly told Japanese officials that the second emergency helicopter landing was a "crazy" situation.

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Onaga's words come after several incidents in which U.S. military mishaps angered locals during a time when the military presence has become increasingly unpopular.

Last week, three U.S. military jets flew over an Okinawan elementary school, prompting Japanese officials to complain about U.S. military conduct, Stars and Stripes reported.

Last month, another U.S. helicopter dropped a window on the sports field of the same school as children were playing.

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On Jan. 6 and 8, U.S. helicopters made emergency landings, with the third happening on Tuesday.

And on Dec. 7, a U.S. helicopter dropped a plastic part on the roof of an Okinawa day care center.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday he "takes seriously the feelings of the people in Okinawa," according to Japan Today.

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"Ensuring the safety of locals will be a top priority issue which Japan and the United States will work on," he said.

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