In a single night, a calm little village suddenly became a solemn place.
The road all the way from the village to the seaside was blocked off with many layers of caution tape.
Beyond the restricted area lay the wreckage of a crashed U.S. Marine Corps Osprey aircraft. A bent cockpit and propeller could be seen sticking out from the sea.
U.S. forces and police did not allow anyone to enter the area. Even the Mayor of Nago city, who originates from the east coast of Nago where the aircraft crashed, was denied access.
The aircraft had been flying around a widespread area along the cape, located a mere hundreds of meters from people’s homes.
It wouldn’t have been surprising if just a few seconds later it had landed in a residential area.
No, the osprey crash was not unexpected.
It is exactly why people have continued to raise their voices in opposition, hoping that things can be changed before further accidents happen.
Abu is located off of the area where a V-shaped landing strip is planned to be constructed at Henoko. The region is only about five kilometers from the location of the new base construction. For years, people have been concerned about the damage to the area that a new base will bring.
Nearby Abu, a sea grass dugong feeding area can be seen from a cliff that overlooks the sea. It is an area of scenic beauty that now faces the danger of pollutants from the U.S. army aircraft crash.
The collection of debris, which would provide evidence of environmental damage, was commenced without an accident investigation by the Japanese Coast Guard, and the members who recovered the wreckage wore highly protective clothing.
Henoko Blue took to the sea both in protest and to observe the accident.
The sea at Abu is enchanting with its picturesque scenery, if only it weren’t for accidents like this…
Okinawans live amidst this danger every day.
We are against the landfill which destroys the ocean and the military training aimed at massacring people.
Only one week after the accident, as if to drown out our voices with a heavy base,
Ospreys began to fly around the sky of Okinawa once again.
Please return the calm island of Okinawa.
20. Dec. 2016
Original post (Japanese)
English translation by Y.S. & A. H.