30 December 2016
US Marine Osprey crashed in Okinawa, Japan! Finally!
An osprey (helo-plane type flying vehicle) crashed on the coast of Nago city, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, Dec 13. A major accident finally occurred 4 years after deployment in Okinawa. That was in fact, anticipated 4 years ago. Read this post.
The crash site was near the US Marine Camp Schwab. The osprey seemed trying to land there after its propeller was damaged while inflight refueling training and had lost control of it. The accident was classified as Class A, highest rank, loss amount was more than 80 million US $. The osprey was torn apart to more than 4 pieces.
Top ranking official of US military stationed in Okinawa, named Nicolson, said Okinawans should appreciate pilots had avoided landing on nearby ground so no civilian casualty was caused. That comment outraged Okinawans who have been opposed to osprey deployment for a long time because of defective structure of the vehicle. Osprey cause accidents 3 times more frequent than other helicoptors. That rate has not changed since it was first introduced in US Marine more than 10 years ago.
The news was reported and broadcasted nationwide. Not only Okinawa locals but Japanese citizens in general felt very distrustful of the U.S. army and the U.S government.
This crash accident is related to ongoing construction of new runways in U.S. Marine Camp Schwab site. A hundred ospreys will be deployed there after completion of the runways by landfilling the sea.
Okinawa governor, Onaga once cancelled landfill permit which was signed by a former governor but this month a week after the accident, Japan's Supreme Court made a ruling that Onaga's cancellation was illegal. Then he revived landfill permit but insists on his firm determination of stopping the construction by whatever method he could use. He still holds many authorities to do that.
Japan's central government and U.S. government do not mind local protest and proceed construction.
What will happen next year? The construction will never be done but distrutst and grudge will grow.
More news related to this construction and osprey will come up. US government might think it is a small matter in the far east. Actually this news is not widely reported in US.
As I described in this blog, more Japanese are learning US military stationed in Japan no longer functions as defense. It is just for two nations' political or military establishment who want to maintain US-Japan defense treaty system.
At Japan's considerate citizen and Okinawa local level, US is just losing trust and friends by this issue.
US seemed very near-sighted. Maybe Japan is not very important any longer since China has become bigger economic power. But China cannot share the same democratic values with US like Japan does in East Asian region. Japan is necessary as bypass between US and China in many occasions.
But it is time that Japan diverts from friendship with America.
Okinawa might turn to be another Pearl Harbor between two nations.
Things might change if newly elected President Donald Trump alters the course. He may do so since he insisted on withdrawing US troops from Japan during the election campaign. He may find Okinawa bases are nothing but budget wasting place.
I am not very sure but he seems to know Japan very well since he has been to Japan many times as a businessman. One time he claimed Japan can defend itself like it did in the past like occupying China and ruled Korean peninsular. He looked not so intelligent but very clever and somehow very knowledgeable.
As for this Okinawa matter, Trump might be able to handle more wisely than Obama and Clinton (as Secretary of State) has done up to this point.