national

U.S. Marine jet crashes off Okinawa; pilot ejects safely

43 Comments
By Yuri Kageyama

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

43 Comments
Login to comment

Bet there will be more protests now.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

There goes the neighborhood

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hope the Devil Dog wasn't too injured when he punched out.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The aircraft had been assigned to Okinawa, which hosts more than half of the 50,000 U.S. troops based in Japan under a bilateral security agreement.

Under a bilateral security agreement between Tokyo and Washington against the agreement of Okinawa.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

@bones He ejected 153kms off shore, so any protests would be really stretching it.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The aircraft had been assigned to Okinawa, which hosts more than half of the 50,000 U.S. troops based in Japan under a bilateral security agreement.

This has nothing to do with the an airplane crash except to entice the anti-hate rhetoric that this news company should be fined by the Government of Japan for fanning a smoldering fire against the anti-hate law

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Well it does add up to the pressure since the very same thing could happen inside the city area, resulting in various damage to the city and it's citizens. Which I hope does not happen. And to make sure it does not, we are going to start moving the base, PRESSURE UP, EVERYONE!

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Big deal. the Harrier jets are known as British Lawn Darts as there have been 10 times more crashes of the Harrier than the hated Osprey. Remember how your car breaks down and you do all the maintenance and repairs as needed and required and told by the car manufacturers. And they still break down at the most unexpected time. It is made by man and its never perfect and subject to failure. This stuff happens,

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@Mlodinow You don't understand,the fact that a plane went down and was connected to the military is enough to for certain people to protest and use this as a reason to further their cause.its basically fuel to the fire.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Will the USMC replace these Harriers with F-35Bs?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You don't understand,the fact that a plane went down and was connected to the military is enough to for certain people to protest and use this as a reason to further their cause.its basically fuel to the fire.

I hope that you understand that some people, even posters here, will protest even if paint gets chipped off a bolt or a truck makes an inadvertent u-turn at the entrance of a school.

Oh the media plays a huge part in the game too.

Thankfully the pilot is alright, just get prepared to put in your ear plugs as ALL the city and town assemblies will have a protest vote and the media will cover it all ad naseum, along with the "special" assembly meetings and other wastes of tax payers money.

Interesting that the Harrier took off from Kadena, to those that know what I am referring to here, it makes the "joint-use" with the MC issue problems look like BS.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Definitely due to aging equipment... didn't know that those dinosaurs are still flying...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Bombs from NK or infrequent crashes take one! People complain about aircraft noise, or children playing the complains will never stop!

People in Okinawa have complained about crashes, noise from aircraft and crime by service members for years, and some say they are unfairly burdened with housing U.S. troops

0 ( +0 / -0 )

mlodinow: "@bones He ejected 153kms off shore, so any protests would be really stretching it."

We're talking about people who sit in the observation towers overlooking the bases and PRAYING for accidents like this so that they can complain about the US more and give their lives some meaning... then ask for money for hosting the bases so they can sit there longer. Doesn't matter when or where, only that it happened. Doesn't matter if the same thing happens to Japanese military or commercial aircraft, only that the US military was involved. They will complain.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Does jet fuel and lubrication float? Will it evaporate before it reaches land? Which way does the wind usually blow and which way is the current flowing?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Yes, that stuff floats, and there are microbes in in the ocean that will break it down, but unfortunately takes some time. There is a current in the western Pacific called KuroShio (Black Current) that is a warm one that starts in the South West and runs North East along the coast and islands of the north western Pacific. With the incident well east of Okinawa, it should miss Okinawa completely.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thankfully no casualties. This news brought to my mind a similar but tragic incident in 1959 on Okinawa. A US Air Force F-100 Suoer Sabre based at Kadena experienced an engine flame-out while on a test or training flight. The pilot ejected safely. He testified later that he had headed the plane out to sea before ejecting. But the plane turned itself around and crashed into an elementary school, killing 11 students and 6 people in the neighborhood and injuring over 200 people including 156 students. This is a matter of record. What is not known widely is the following. In the immediate aftermath of this tragedy, there was a memorial service for the dead. A Buddhist memorial service. Okinawa was at that time still a U.S. military administrative territory, and the top US military general was expected to attend and read a statement. He initially refused, saying that he was a devout Christian and could not participate in a Buddhiiat ceremony. He was finally persuaded that his duty as the person of ultimate responsibility and as human being made it imperative that he attend. I know this because my father, who worked for the Office of Public Information of the administration, was the person who pursuaded him to change in his mind and who also wrote the statement he delivered.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Every Okinawan mother or father who lives in the vicinity of one of the countless US military flightpaths will worry about their kids when reading such news. They will think about the daily overflights by numberless military aircraft and be reminded that it is just a question when and not if another one of those US military accidents occurs. And without exception they will hope that nothing bad happens and no people are hurt then.

The posters here who try to depict the Okinawan people and media of blatant cynicism and of just pretending to be worried about possible US military accidents appear rather presumptuous if they chose to make such severe accusations without even attempting at backing them up with some kind of objective information. There's more than enough problems in Japan with hate speech anyway.

The Okinawan people have never chosen nor ever agreed to host such a massive amount of US military and have all the right in the world to do everything they can to get rid of such an unequal and discriminating burden.

Drastically reducing the US military in Okinawa will drastically reduce the threat of accidents from a source that the Okinawan people have never invited to their prefecture.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

bam_boo: "And without exception they will hope that nothing bad happens and no people are hurt then."

Yes, THEN, and not before, like when JSDF craft go down, or when an Okinawan gets drunk and rapes someone, or breaks into a house, or drives drunk. They're too busy looking for and worrying about things that COULD happen with the US military that they refuse to look at their own backyard to the exponential number of the same thing or worse going on; which is the point of the 'cynics' you refer to. If you spend all your time watching the skies for a potential US aircraft to fall, you'll get hit by a car driven by a regular old Japanese, my friend.

"There's more than enough problems in Japan with hate speech anyway."

Including that towards the US military personnel, who are there to protect you but get spit on for things they have not done but paranoid people fear MIGHT some day happen (again, while it happens with Japanese in the area more often than with the US).

"Drastically reducing the US military in Okinawa will drastically reduce the threat of accidents from a source that the Okinawan people have never invited to their prefecture."

They invited it by being part of nation that declared war and lost. They invited it by taking part in that war. They invited it with the government making a joint pact for defence (and Okinawa is a part of Japan, so don't suddenly say they are not again). And there would be no less a threat of accidents -- you would just have to start finding someone else to quickly point the finger at. Maybe even China.

You should be thanking the US presence there for helping and keeping you safe, not hating them because you have nothing better to do.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

They apparently think ancient machinery can protect Japan in that part of the world.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

They invited it by being part of nation that declared war and lost. They invited it by taking part in that war. They invited it with the government making a joint pact for defence.

Why does it seem that so many posters haven't taken junior high history? You do realize that Okinawa was annexed around the turn of the century, along with Korea, Taiwan, Manchuria, the Philippines, and the list goes on... by your logic, all countries that were invaded by Japan (i.e., the victims) are guilty of the Japanese Imperialism that led to the war, and therefore all subsequent occupation. Please educate yourself, it's embarrassing.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Why does it seem that so many posters haven't taken junior high history? You do realize that Okinawa was annexed around the turn of the century, along with Korea, Taiwan, Manchuria, the Philippines, and the list goes on... by your logic, all countries that were invaded by Japan (i.e., the victims) are guilty of the Japanese Imperialism that led to the war, and therefore all subsequent occupation. Please educate yourself, it's embarrassing.

Yes, they were annexed. And WHEN they were annexed, what did the Okinawans do? They said, "OK, whatever." They accepted it because they knew they had no ability to resist. They STILL have no ability to resist, but there are apparently some local leaders who think that Okinawa is still a sovereign nation and can tell Japan what Japan can and can't do with Okinawa. Those leaders are deluded, unless they plan on Okinawa seceding from Japan. As of now, the odds of Okinawans deciding to go it alone against the rest of the world are astronomically in favor of them saying, "Not worth the trouble."

0 ( +4 / -4 )

IGld pilot was not killed. And when recovered,, he can testify how it happened. In detail. Hop he get relaxation instead of pressure.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It was fortunate that the pilot could eject out safely and was rescued.

There's a serious issue involved here, though, that must be clarified. The article says the Harrier jump jet has been assigned to Okinawa but, according to The Ryukyu Shimpo, Okinawa's local newspaper, it is based in the U.S. mainland and flew to Kadena Air Base by way of Iwakuni to train in Okinawa. It's often the case that U.S. mainland-based fighter jets fly to Okinawa to train. Last year, for example, 10 Vermont-based National Guards F-16 fighter jets flew to Kadena for training purposes.

The question is: Does such training by U.S. mainland-based aircraft legitimate in the light of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, which stipulates Japan provide bases for U.S. forces in return for the protection they provide? Would U.S. mainland-based aircraft come to Japan's aid in case of emergencies and conflicts?

All this shows that the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is a mere facade to hide the undeniable fact that Okinawa is none other than a U.S. military colony.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

This news brought to my mind a similar but tragic incident in 1959 on Okinawa

Wow, you have to be in your 70's or older, yet I don't see how that matters to the crash yesterday. At least this pilot dumped his plane in an area that it would affect no human lives.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

smithinjapan: The people of Okinawa owe the U.S. Military and the Japanese Govt. nothing because whatever the U.S. Military and J-Govt. has done or continues to do for the people of Okinawa the people of Okinawa has paid them back two-fold with the sacrifices of their lives, their land, their quality of life and their standard of living. While the Mainland Japanese were enjoying the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and great economic growth the people of Okinawa were struggling under U.S. Military Rule and even though Okinawa is a part of Japan they still struggle today because large areas of centrally located land is under the control of the U.S. Military. Do you think that the people of Okinawa should be grateful that they are the poorest prefecture in Japan even though they have all of these bases protecting Japan and they should be happy to have most of their best land enclosed by fences and be happy to have a lower quality of life because of the bases? No my friend, it is the people of Mainland Japan and the U.S. Military who should be thankful to the people of Okinawa.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Wonder how much that jet cost we tax payers.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japan4life: "The people of Okinawa owe the U.S. Military and the Japanese Govt. nothing..."

They owe them thanks. Period.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

All this shows that the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is a mere facade to hide the undeniable fact that Okinawa is none other than a U.S. military colony.

If I live in a US military colony why is my passport Japanese? Oh, you are just stirring the pot of ignorance,sorry.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

They owe them thanks. Period.

My, my. White Man's Burden in this day and age? Amazing. When people were forcefully evicted from their homes to make way for the 30+ bases on the island, they should have bowed down in gratitude? And what, exactly, were these bases to be used for? Bombing runs in Vietnam, bombings in Korea, bombings in Laos, bombings in Cambodia... clearly, all things vital to the Okinawan people's defense, right? Or maybe, just possibly, the US just wanted a forward operating position under the cover of "protecting freedom." You do realize that the first anti-base movements were started by farmers who became homeless when the US seized their farms to make way for countless swimming pools, golf courses, and playgrounds? Sniff, sniff... these heathens should be grateful! Please.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

GoBoilermakers: "When people were forcefully evicted from their homes to make way for the 30+ bases on the island, they should have bowed down in gratitude?"

They can thank imperial Japan for that. The current Japan can thank the US presence for Japan's continued post-war peace. They gave them the Constitution for it and are, among other things, a deterrence against Chinese and NK aggression.

And while you talk about a few people made homeless after Japan lost the war, how many made money off and built their homes around the bases, pres tel? In fact, aren't some of the more densely populated areas of Okinawa around bases like Futenma? Ah, but that "wasn't their fault", right? "They had no choice"?

And yet they still want handouts AND the bases gone! They curse the US but demand they stay close enough that when Okinawa is attacked (and suddenly they are Japanese citizens again!) they abide by the National Security pacts.

So, yes, they should be thankful for the US presence. They are far from perfect, but because of them being their the Okinawans can continue to grumble and complain, in peace.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

GoBoilermakers, the anti-asian hysteria clouds all reason these people could apply to this situation. They present China and Korea as pure evil and always watching for someone to drop the weapon to begin the invasion. It runs deep and is both hypocritical and insane. In need of an enemy they mark them and support any kind of agression towards them, "defensive measures" they call it, and any movement from those poor countries is reprimanded and judged negative. It is a pity but this is not something we could heal.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

And yet they still want handouts AND the bases gone!

I'm half-Okinawan. Where are these handouts you speak of? I have a masters degree in finance and started a small business here. My Okinawan wife is a dentist. Please let me know where we can get free money, thanks. Kindly cut the bigotry.

Who, exactly asked for all the bases gone? When has any politician asked for the immediate removal of all bases? A reduction? Sure. Rebalance more bases to the mainland? Of course. Why exactly should a tiny island a fraction of the size of a single city on the mainland have 30+ bases? Your binary thinking is typical of people far removed from the situation. Half my family is Okinawan, half is American (with plenty of relatives serving in the armed forces.) Easy for some ignorant English teacher on the mainland to cower behind the safety of his keyboard. Come here and I'll show you around the bases. Then maybe you'll learn something.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@ smithinjapan

Yes, THEN, and not before, like when JSDF craft go down, or when an Okinawan gets drunk and rapes someone, or breaks into a house, or drives drunk.

The Okinawan people do what ever they can to prevent crime from Okinawan people and they do whatever they can to get the US military drastically reduced in order to drastically reduce crime by US military. Your line of argument, that the Okinawan people don't care about crime committed by Okinawan citizens, is utterly irrational.

And yet they still want handouts AND the bases gone! They curse the US but demand they stay close enough that when Okinawa is attacked (and suddenly they are Japanese citizens again!) they abide by the National Security pacts.

Your overly general, unsubstantiated and slanderous accusations of the Okinawan people is hate speech in its purest form.

Just to remind you of the definition of hate speech:

"speech that is intended to insult, offend, or intimidate a person because of some trait (as race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, or disability)"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

smithinjapan,

And yet they still want handouts

You know, in all the demonstrations I've been to, NO ONE has held up a placard asking for handouts. I'm sure that if money's going to be handed out, Okinawans will gladly take it, as anyone would. But that is NOT the motive.

AND the bases gone!

You don't get it, do you? Most Okinawans are not asking for a complete absence of US bases, but for the rest of Japan to SHARE the BURDEN. That is, to have proportionately the same share of bases as Okinawa has. As it is, there is a huge superbase being forced in in Henoko, numerous helipads being built in Takae and renovations being conducted in buildings in Futenma, making it look like handing back Futenma is just an empty promise.

They curse the US

No. The only people who are doing any cursing are the ultra right wing mercenaries who run around in loudspeaker cars screaming about the advancing Chinese. Okinawans don't curse. They are far more laid back. At the demos in Henoko, they are being beaten up, insulted and harassed by the LDP hired thugs. They are not cursing.

demand they stay close enough that when Okinawa is attacked (and suddenly they are Japanese citizens again!) they abide by the National Security pacts.

In your imagination maybe. Show me an instance of an Okinawan politician, etc., saying this and I might believe you. I personally have never seen it.

So, yes, they should be thankful for the US presence.

Well, those few who profit from the US presence are thankful. Pity there aren’t more of them and then their voice might be heard.

They are far from perfect, but because of them being their the Okinawans can continue to grumble and complain, in peace.

Presumably you meant "there," but we'll let that rest. Okinawans want their own land. If the boot were on the other foot and 20% of US land were occupied by Japanese troops, there would be such screaming and hollering, it would be deafening.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I'm really glad the pilot was rescued. From Facebook I found that, from 31st and 33rd Rescue Squadrons Capt. Zack Martin, Capt. Paul Fry, Staff Sgt. Marcus Taylor and Staff Sgt. Austen Carroll were among the team that rescued the pilot. Great work done by the men and women with those nice guys.

By the way BertieWooster where to have a military base is a military decision, not a "peace loving" decision. You have military bases to destroy ISIS in the Middle East, not in North Dakota. Just like that, we have military bases in Okinawa. It's that simple.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

By the way BertieWooster where to have a military base is a military decision, not a "peace loving" decision.

Dont worry, these articles about incidents in Okinawa typically end up with the same "beat a dead horse" posters making the exact same comments over and over and over and over again. They are pretty much off their rockers with some of the comments they make and are far from reality.

A few are like the politicians here,,lemmings!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You are not destroying anything in Okinawa, the only things soldiers fight there are the immoral animal urges and alchoholism. Please do not make this any more insane that it already is,"evil-fighting" guys.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ jj1067

By the way BertieWooster where to have a military base is a military decision, not a "peace loving" decision.

A nation where the military can freely decide where to built military bases is called a "military dictatorship".

According to its constitution Japan is a democracy and in a democratic nation not the military, but the people have the last say. At least until Abe manages to change the constitution and turn Japan into an authoritarian state.

Unfortunately Okinawa has never been able to enjoy all the blessings of the Japanese constitution because the government of Japan and the US have conspired against the Okinawan people in order to "protect" the mainland.

While all other Japanese prefectures are able to decide on all the guiding principles of their prefecture in a democratic process the Okinawan people are deprived of such a right. The central government in intimate togetherness with the US military is doing anything in its power to keep the Okinawan people in a state of submission.

And the Okinawan people are doing anything in their power to change this situation and to prevent any further damage to their environment and any further threat resulting from the surreal concentration of US military on their islands.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

bam_boo

In America, police officers do whatever they have to do to protect the community. People don't vote to allow cops to come or not. So, America is a Police State to you? There is a priority in safety and security even in a democratic country.

Besides, if you like it or not, Japanese chose to have US military bases in Okinawa by choosing LDP over DPJ, which is democracy. Also, Japan is a democratic country but not a Federation. Okinawa or any other prefectures do not have the power like Texas has in US, and Japan is still democracy.

Don't judge a foreign country with your ideology and pay some respect.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@ jj1067

There are several misconceptions in your arguments.

In America, police officers do whatever they have to do to protect the community. People don't vote to allow cops to come or not.

The police in the US is receiving orders from the democratic institutions and the decision where to build police stations is part of a democratically legitimated process.

Besides, if you like it or not, Japanese chose to have US military bases in Okinawa by choosing LDP over DPJ, which is democracy.

This was in no way a decision-making process that democratically legitimated the US bases in Okinawa. If you believe so you don't understand the very basics of democracy.

Don't judge a foreign country with your ideology and pay some respect.

Maybe you should pay some respect and read the Japanese constitution like I have and like most Okinawan people have.

There are several articles in there that would NOT allow the central government to just put an unequal burden on one specific prefecture.

Please read the following article

"Article 95. A special law, applicable only to one local public entity, cannot be enacted by the Diet without the consent of the majority of the voters of the local public entity concerned, obtained in accordance with law."

It is part of the "CHAPTER VIII - LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT" which states that the "Local public entities shall have the right to manage their property, affairs and administration and to enact their own regulations within law."

If the central government would want to station the majority of a foreign military force in one prefecture it would not be able to do so without enabling a law for such a far-reaching measure and it would need the consent of that prefectures citizens to do so.

The only reason that the US military could occupy nearly 20% of Okinawas main-island is because Okinawa was under a US military dictatorship and people were illegally forced out of their homes.

Democracy luckily is not the "tyranny of the majority" as you seem to believe.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

bam_boo、you lost anyway. We the Japanese of course vote taking Okinawa into account and the result is LDP. What's happening is OUR choice as Japanese citizens. Are you a Japanese citizen? Are you eligible to take responsibility for the choice? I am. Sorry man, Okinawa is not your country, it's part of Japan, my country.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@bones, yup I do. I'm just saying it's an unreasonable stance is all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites