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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 August 2 - 8  > Latest crash verifies there is no place for defective US Osprey in Japan
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2017 August 2 - 8 [US FORCES]
editorial 

Latest crash verifies there is no place for defective US Osprey in Japan

August 7, 2017
Akahata editorial (excerpt)

An MV-22 Osprey, stationed at the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma base in Okinawa’s Ginowan City, crashed into the sea off the east coast of Australia. Three crew members are still missing. It was only eight months ago that the same type of aircraft crashed off the coast of Okinawa’s Nago City which was also deployed to the Futenma base. With the accident-prone aircraft frequently flying from Okinawa to various locations across Japan, the latest incident has again shown that Osprey flights are posing a risk of serious accidents such as a crash to residential areas in Okinawa and in the rest of the country. The U.S. forces should take the defective aircraft back home without delay.

The details of the crash off Australia’s east coast have not been made available. In the first place, the U.S. military has yet to publish an investigation report on the MV-22 crash in December 2016 into the shallow water in the Abu district in Nago City during night-time aerial refueling drills. Accident investigation reports are supposed to be compiled and handed over to Japanese authorities within six months after an accident.

In Japan, MV-22s are increasing people’s anxiety for their safety and for damages caused by noise pollution. U.S. forces’ Ospreys stationed at the Futenma base in Okinawa frequently fly to the U.S. Yokota base in Tokyo, the Atsugi base in Kanagawa, Camp Fuji in Shizuoka, and the Iwakuni base in Yamaguchi to carry out flight training exercises.

In addition, the Abe government decided to set up a maintenance facility for U.S. Ospreys at the Self-Defense Forces Kisarazu base in Chiba. It also plans to purchase Ospreys for the Ground SDF and station them at a civilian airport in Saga.

In response to the latest Osprey crash, the Abe government requested the U.S. military to provide relevant information and suspend Osprey flights, but failed to voice a protest. Public criticism is growing against the Abe government, which keeps taking a subservient attitude towards the U.S. and continues to ignore public concern over the safety of the aircraft with its poor accident record. The need is to increase public movements to put a halt to Osprey flights and remove the defective aircraft from Japan.

Past related articles:
> Okinawans have witnessed US aircraft crash once a year for half a century [May 15, 2017]
> ’Be thankful’ remark by top US military officer fuels Okinawans’ anger [December 15&16, 2016]
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