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Roaring jet engines bring back memories

Date Posted: 2007-02-23

Ryoei Kochi was digging up potatoes in his small cropland beneath the flight approach pattern to Kadena Air Base when he heard the screaming sound of jet engines.

Looking up from his plot in Shirakawa in Okinawa City, he saw an F-22 Raptor making its approach to Kadena. The sight and sounds brought back horrific memories of a day in 1994, when he watched from the same farmland as a tire from an F-15 fighter fell to the ground.

“It seemed like a war had started again,” he said after calming down. Matsuda Chinen, who watched the F-22’s from his home in Yara, Kadena Town, said “I was surprised that the noise was bigger than from the F-15. Noise damage around us keeps deteriorating.”

Chinen says “Evidently, the PAC-3 missiles and the F-22’s are a deterrence for other special countries.

It is an absolute outrage!” Another Kadena Town resident in the Mizugama district says “I’m making my living by the base, but my hope is for peace. Now, it seems like the military does everything its own way. It seems just like before reversion.”

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