A U.S. military helicopter crashed in waters off the Japanese southern island of Okinawa during a training mission on Aug. 12, injuring six people and prompting Japan’s government to demand a probe and steps to prevent a recurrence. The U.S. Army H-60 helicopter was damaged during a “hard deck landing” aboard the USNS Red Cloud about 20 miles east of Okinawa, the U.S. Forces, Japan said. The helicopter is currently on the deck of the USNS Red Cloud and the injured were transported to the U.S. Naval Hospital at Camp Foster, it said in a statement. The accident comes as Japan’s central government begins talks with Okinawa’s governor over contentious plans to relocate a U.S. Marines air base to a less crowded part of the island, host to the bulk of U.S. military forces in Japan. Residents of Okinawa, the site of bloody battles between U.S. and Japanese forces near the end of World War Two, have long objected to tens of thousands of U.S. troops and U.S. military installations on 18 percent of their island.
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