OIU NO FLY ZONE - Put an End US Military Training Flights Over Schools, Hospitals, and Residential Neighborhoods
Go to the Japanese No Fly Zone site
OIU logo

More info on the Okinawa International University website

Eyewitness Accounts

Letfs Not Forget:
Spread the Word All Over the Country

By Yuichi Fuchinoue
OIU Student Council President

   I am a student at Okinawa International University, and I was nearby when the U.S. military helicopter crashed. Stunned by the explosion, I rushed to the university only to find that the familiar campus had been completely altered: U.S. soldiers in camouflage fatigues were standing in the street blocking access; black smoke filled the air; and an indescribably foul odor of burning oil made it difficult to breathe.
   Many students were frantically calling friends and family on their cell phones. gA helicopter crashed into the Administration Building!h someone told me. Unbelievable! Wondering if anyone was hurt, I hurried to the scene. I came upon a student who was crouched down and shaking. gAre you all right?h I asked. She seemed to be okay, but she couldnft move from the intense shock.
   I finally reached the front of the Administration building, but U.S. soldiers and the police had cordoned off the area with yellow tape and wouldnft allow anyone to enter. Why couldnft we enter? The president of the university arrived, but he wasnft allowed to enter either. gWefre here for rescue and putting out the fire,h a fire fighter complained bitterly, gand yet wefre turned away!h
   As it began to grow dark, more and more U.S. marines poured into the campus, their portable toilets and blankets in tow. Hotdogs and pizza were delivered, and approximately a hundred soldiers sat down in the garden and other areas in front of the Administration Building. Chatting and laughing happily, they stuffed their faces with food, drank their Coca Cola—and even played cards. It was all a joke to them! I grew more and more annoyed. This is our university! Tears of resentment came to my eyes.

   How long will we students of Okinawa International University be forced to spend our college days exposed to danger?
   I strongly protest the crash of the U.S. military helicopter that has endangered the lives of so many students.
   Yet now the U.S. military has prevented the Japanese police from inspecting the area, has carried off the fuselage of the helicopter, and has even replaced some of the soil at the crash site. Claiming that all is well, they have already resumed military training flights. For his part, on the grounds that he was on vacation, Prime Minister Koizumi declined to comment on the accident or to meet with Ginowanfs mayor, who had made a trip to Tokyo. The mainland media has focused entirely on the Olympics and has provided scant coverage of the helicopter incident. As things stand, isnft it likely that the entire incident will be brushed off as being gno big dealh or gold newsh? I think that would be a tragedy.
   Therefore, we have formed a Student Council Crisis Management Committee in order to spread the word throughout the prefecture and the entire country. We hope that all residents of Okinawa will assist us in this task, and we urge Okinawa International University students who were away during summer vacation to come to the university and take a look at the scarred wall and charred tree. Let the sight burn into your memory, and let your voices be heard. If we donft raise our voices, no one will protect us. Letfs prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again. Please send eyewitness accounts, photographs, and comments to us at the following e-mail address:


Thank you.

August 20, 2004
Yuichi Fuchinoue
Okinawa International University Student Council


[Home] [OIU Crash] [Eyewitnesses] [It's NOT All Right] [Confront the Dangers] [My Experience] [Let's not Forget] [Okinawan Reality] [Protests] [Public Safety] [Background] [Commentary] [Photo Gallery] [Action] [Links] [About]

Copyright © 2004 Okinawa International University
Helicopter Crash Information Network, All Rights Reserved.