• Kyodo

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The U.S. Marine Corps in Okinawa Prefecture on Thursday transferred to its Yamaguchi Prefecture base three helicopters of the same type as the one that crashed in Okinawa in August.

The three CH-53D transport helicopters were moved to the Marine Corps Air Station in Iwakuni on Honshu from Ginowan, Okinawa.

A CH-53D chopper crashed into a university campus near the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in Ginowan in August, sparkling strong local protests.

The choppers arrived at the Iwakuni station later in the day, after stopping for refueling purposes at the Maritime Self-Defense Force Air Base in Kanoya, Kagoshima Prefecture.

Two other helicopters of the same type are expected to leave for Iwakuni in mid-November, Japanese government sources said.

At the time of the accident, 12 CH-53D helicopters, including the crashed one, were located at Futenma. Six of them were dispatched to Iraq after the crash.

The remainder, all from U.S. Marine Corps Base Hawaii on Kaneohe Bay on the island of Oahu, were deployed at Iwakuni station in April before being sent to Okinawa.

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