Okinawa School Kids Flee 700 Times from U.S. Aircraft

Society

Ginowan, Okinawa Pref., Dec. 13 (Jiji Press)--Students at an elementary school in Okinawa Prefecture, southernmost Japan, have taken shelter from their schoolyard nearly 700 times to avoid approaching U.S. military aircraft since a U.S. helicopter window fell onto the yard a year ago.

On Dec. 13, 2017, a window dropped from a CH-53E large transport helicopter belonging to the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air station in the Okinawa city of Ginowan, falling onto the schoolyard located next to the military facility.

"I cried when I saw the children evacuating," Osamu Tobaru, who came to the school this fiscal year as its principal, said.

According to the elementary school, the children and others have evacuated from the schoolyard 693 times in the past year. During one particular gym class, children had to take shelter five times.

Tobaru said that there was no point in holding classes if students had to evacuate twice during the class period.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press