Hundreds of people have gathered in front of a US military base in Okinawa, to protest a recent accident of an Osprey transport aircraft and demand the withdrawal of all Ospreys deployed in the prefecture.
Organizers say about 900 people took part in the rally outside US Camp Schwab in Nago on Saturday. The protesters also oppose moves to relocate the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to a coastal area in Nago by expanding the camp.
The camp is 4 kilometers southwest of the site where the Osprey from the Air Station in Ginowan City made an emergency-landing in shallow waters on Tuesday night. All crew members were rescued but 2 of them were injured.
At the rally, Nago City Mayor Susumu Inamine said he has feared from the beginning that such an accident could happen near where people live. He urged the protesters to keep working until the Ospreys are removed from Okinawa and the air facility relocation plan is scrapped.
The protesters chanted slogans against the flight of Ospreys over Okinawa, and called for removing US military bases from Okinawa.