Okinawa cops asking help in patrolling Senkakus

Okinawa Prefectural Police have turned to other prefectures for help in policing the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, claiming the tensions have created such patrol needs that they can’t go it alone.

Okinawa police are asking support from other police forces because of a shortage of manpower to deal with the multiple security issues.  Okinawa Prefectural Police say they’re hard pressed to handle local protests against the deployment of the MV-22 Osprey aircraft at Futenma Marine Corps Air Station, investigating a rape incident involving a pair of U.S. Navy sailors, and still have time to deal with the Senkakus.

Metropolitan Police Departments and police in Osaka and Kanagawa Prefectures have both already agreed to send squads of nearly a dozen officers to Okinawa within the coming week.  The outside assistance will be used in patrol duties on Japan Coast Gurd Vessels, and on nearby islands as the Chinese ships continue to move in and out of Japanese waters.

Support units will stay until after Emperor Akihito and empress Michiko attend an event coming up November 17th and 18th in Okinawa.  The squads are then expected to return home in late November, when seasonal sea conditions make it difficult to land on the Senkakus.