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Japanese schoolboy injured after window falls off US Marine helicopter

Japanese officials said a boy was injured in Okinawa on Wednesday when a metal window frame fell from a US military helicopter, the second such incident in the past week on the southern island.

Authorities in the city of Ginowan said the window fell from a CH-53 transport helicopter and landed in a school playground, leaving a boy with minor arm injuries.

About 50 children were outside the school next to the Marine Corps Air Station Futenma at the time.

Last week, a part of another US military helicopter fell on a nearby kindergarten roof, but no-one was hurt.

The base in a crowded residential area in central Okinawa is a source of anti-US military sentiment and safety concerns. Its planned relocation pushed by the Japanese and US governments has been delayed for more than 20 years as many residents want it off Okinawa altogether.

The latest incidents could further fuel opposition to the US military presence on Okinawa, where about half of 50,000 American troops are stationed and where local residents have expressed concerns about military crime and safety on the island.

A Marine Corps CH-53 made an emergency landing on a farm and burned in October. Another helicopter belonging to Futenma crashed into a nearby university in 2004, injuring three American crew members.

AP

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