Some 100 people went out to protest after a part of US military aircraft fell down on the rooftop of a daycare facility in Ginowan, located in the southern part of Okinawa prefecture, according to Stars and Stripes. The protesters chanted "Don't fly U.S. military helicopters!" according to Japanese public broadcaster NHK.
The plummeting part was a transparent plastic container with a dark red label reading: "Flight," "US," "remove" and "use to reset" printed in English, which strongly suggests it came from one of the many US military aircraft based on the island. The part weighed about half a pound, according to a Ginowan police spokesman.
While this might not seem like much, such an object falling from a significant height is still capable of inflicting injury on any unsuspecting civilians down below.
Plus, the day care facility is located within 300 meters of a Marine Corps base.
"We take this report very seriously and are still actively investigating this incident working closely with local authorities," Marine 1st Lt. Karoline Foote, spokesperson for the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, said Friday to Stars and Stripes. "We care deeply about the safety of our friends and neighbors in the communities around which we live and operate."
Unfortunately, this isn't the first time the US military has lost track of parts of its aircraft somewhere over Japan, either.
Earlier in December, personnel at Yokota Air Base discovered that a US C-130J Hercules military cargo plane was missing one of its parts to its aerial flare.
"It is unknown when or where the piece went missing and the C-130J's flight path was mostly over the ocean," officials said after the incident.
The official statement mentioned that the missing part contained "hazardous" materials that might inflict serious injury if handled. However, the statement noted that the piece poses no environmental danger "if it isn't disturbed," Stripes notes.
According to local Japanese newspapers, Tokyo and six other Japanese cities and towns have complained about the incident.