The simple lesson of the helicopter crash at Okinawa International University is: Never again!. All of us at the university, and in the wider community, can count ourselves fortunate to be alive. Even so, how long should Ginowan residents be forced to rely on chance? Only hours after the crash, helicopters were already swirling over our heads again. One would have thought that even in the interests of public relations, to say nothing of public safety, the U.S. Marine Corps would have displayed better judgment. Do we need to wait for a fatal tragedy before serious action is taken to make Ginowan City safe from the clearly demonstrated danger posed by Futenma Air Station? We believe the answer to this question is an absolute gNo.h We are led to believe that America acts in the interest of freedom and democracy. With this in mind, we demand an immediate and indefinite cessation of all flights in and out of the base until the citizens of Ginowan have demonstrated by popular vote that they are satisfied of their safety.
Instructor, Faculty of Global and Regional Culture
Okinawa International University