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50 people in Okinawa gather to protest against F-4 accident.

NAHA, Japan, June 27 Kyodo

A civic group in Okinawa Prefecture demonstrated Wednesday against the accidental firing by a Self-Defense Forces (SDF) F-4 fighter jet of nearly 200 rounds from its cannon during an air drill over western Hokkaido on Monday.

About 50 people at the rally organized by the Okinawa Peace Action Center gathered in front of the Southwestern Composite Air Division of the SDF in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture where the fighter is based to demand closure of the facilities.

Shiko Sakiyama, chairman of the center, said in his speech, ''We cannot forgive the shooting although it was an accident. SDF fighters have been causing so many accidents including near-misses and overruns at Naha airport, which the SDF uses jointly with commercial airlines.''

''We will keep demanding the closure of the SDF Naha base in order to live in safety,'' Sakiyama added.

About 25 F-4 fighter jets operate from the Naha base adjacent to Naha airport under an agreement between the SDF and the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Date:Jul 2, 2001
Words:170
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