TOKYO — A US CH-53 helicopter crashed on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa on Wednesday, stirring locals’ anger towards the US military presence there, local media reported.

The helicopter’s crew was not injured. The Japanese government has yet to confirm whether any civilians were affected, Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters.

Firefighters and US helicopters were battling a blaze after the crash, according to the island’s Ryukyu Shimpo newspaper.

The helicopter crashed on a grazing area near a US military training area in the northern part of the island, the paper reported, where US helipads were constructed last year despite massive local opposition.

“I’m filled with anger. What on earth does the central government think about our lives?” Ikuko Isa, a resident in Takae district, was quoted by the paper as saying.

Tokyo “should not let [US military] aircraft fly any longer,” she added.