2 more Marine Corps helicopters have gone down in Okinawa since Saturday

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A faulty rotor may have caused a United States military helicopter to make an emergency landing on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa, a Japanese official said on Sunday.

The incidents are the latest in a series that have inflamed Okinawan opposition to the large USA military presence on the southern Japan island chain. No injuries were reported, and the two man-crew were able to evacuate the aircraft safely.

A separate military helicopter made an emergency landing at a beach in Uruma City just three days ago.

The Marines said in a statement that the helicopter had been repaired and would return to base as quickly as possible.

But the site is close to a resort and residential area.

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Also on Ikei Island, an AH-1 attack helicopter based at Futenma made an emergency landing on a farm path a year ago, while a window of a USA chopper fell on school grounds in the city of Ginowan hosting the Futenma base last month.

Later in the morning the disabled chopper was taken back to its base for further inspections, local officials said. The school is next to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

In December, a resolution demanding all USA military flights over schools and hospitals be suspended was unanimously adopted by the Okinawa prefectural assembly.

In December, a resolution demanding all USA military flights over schools and hospitals be suspended was unanimously adopted by the Okinawa prefectural assembly.

The chopper, carrying four people, made an emergency landing on a small islet in Okinawa Prefecture.

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The association said that if a US military aircraft were to fall on residential property, then the damage would be huge and lives could be lost.

According to the assembly, "A feeling of distrust is mounting among Okinawa people as these incidents vividly illustrate that the USA military's measures to prevent similar accidents are not functioning".

The US has apologised to Japan over a recent series of accidents involving US military equipment that have sparked anger over American operations in the country, a ministry spokesman in Tokyo said.

Okinawa hosts the bulk of USA military bases in Japan yet represents just a tiny fraction of Japan's total land mass.

Officials with the US Marines could not immediately be reached for comment.

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