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Futenma residents react to Defense Minister comment

Date Posted: 2012-01-27

Residents in the neighborhood of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma are reacting critically over remarks made by Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka's that there are fewer than expected helicopters flying over the area.

Tanaka's recognition of the situation is ''lax'', one school teacher said, because he does not seem to know that local schools need to halt classes due to noise caused by U.S. helicopters when they fly nearby. Tanaka looked over Futenma Air Station, located in a densely populated residential area in Ginowan City, from a hill Monday morning, as he toured Okinawa.

He asked Ro Manabe, chief of the Defense Ministry's Okinawa bureau, about the frequency of helicopters flying over an elementary school adjacent to the base, saying, ''There are not so many, are there?'' referring to military helicopters.

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