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Okinawa governor seeks SOFA revisions after helicopter's hard landing

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 13, 2015

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan – Okinawa’s governor wants revisions to the status of forces agreement between the U.S. and Japan after an Army helicopter experienced a hard landing aboard a ship off the island’s coast earlier this week, NHK reported Thursday.

Gov. Takeshi Onaga, who complained the prefectural government was not provided details about Wednesday’s accident, told reporters Thursday that the agreement gives Japan no say in incidents involving the U.S. military within the country.

Onaga plans to push to have the SOFA revised, though he admitted doing so will be difficult, the Japanese broadcaster reported.

The UH-60 Black Hawk was conducting a training mission when the incident occurred Wednesday afternoon, a USFJ news release said. Five servicemembers were injured.

The special operations aircraft attempted to land on the USNS Red Cloud, which was underway about 20 miles east of the island, between the northern cities of Nago and Uruma.

news@stripes.com

Gov. Takeshi Onaga of Okinawa Prefecture meets with reporters at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., June 3, 2015.
JOE GROMELSKI/STARS AND STRIPES

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