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Okinawa officials still want to see chopper crash report

Date Posted: 2005-07-09

It’s been nearly a year since a US Marine Corps helicopter crashed onto the Okinawa International University campus in Ginowan, but results of the official American investigation remain under wraps.

Officials say the US military is still failing to honor an Okinawa Prefectural Police request for a copy of the report, which reportedly describes exactly what happened. Asked by Seiken Akamine, a Communist Party lawmaker from Okinawa, what was going on during a House of Representatives committee meeting, the answer was that “We are making efforts to obtain the (report) conclusions as soon as possible.”

That word from Chikao Kawai, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs North American Affairs Bureau, didn’t sit well, although he did tell lawmakers “I don’t think we can leave this matter ambiguous.” Kawai says the report contains extensive information, including names of personnel meted out punishment over the crash, and says “coordination is under way on publishing the report. We want to release the portions we can publicize.”

Okinawa Prefecture Police say they are attempting to develop a case against the U.S. Government in connection with the August 13th crash of the Sea Stallion cargo helicopter. They contend the Marines were suspected of violating Laws Against Dangerous Aviation Action.

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