Monday's crash of a HH-60 rescue helicopter from the U.S. Air Force's Kadena Air Base in Okinawa has reminded Okinawan people, once again, the risks they face due to the presence of U.S. armed forces there. The crash occurred at a time when additional MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft are being transferred to the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station on the same island. Many Okinawans worry about the safety of the Osprey. The latest accident will only deepen their fear and anger over accidents involving the U.S. military, and their distrust of the U.S. and Japanese governments.

The HH-60 helicopter crashed in a heavily wooded area inside Camp Hansen, just 2 km from a residential area and also near the Okinawa Expressway, an elementary school, a kindergarten and a day-care facility for children.

U.S. and Japanese officials should realize that it was only by sheer luck that local residents were not injured by the crash. This was the 45th crash in Okinawa involving U.S. military aircraft since the island's reversion to Japan 41 years ago in 1972.