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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 March 13 - 19  > CV-22 Osprey flies over Tokyo with gun pointing toward residential areas
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2019 March 13 - 19 [US FORCES]

CV-22 Osprey flies over Tokyo with gun pointing toward residential areas

March 15 & 18, 2019

Akahata on March 15 reported that a U.S. Air Force special operation aircraft CV-22 Osprey flew over Tokyo airspace with its machine gun barrel sticking out of the unclosed loading ramp and slanting down toward residential areas.

The Akahata report is based on the observation by the Hamura Peace Committee which conducts a monitoring of military aircraft landing and taking off at the U.S. Yokota base in western Tokyo. Around 3:40 p.m. on March 13, peace committee members saw two CV-22 Ospreys leaving the base and flying north over residential areas. They noticed that there seemed to be something wrong with one of the CV-22s. The aircraft’s loading ramp was open and a gun barrel-like object protruded out of the opening with its end pointing downward.

Judging from a photo taken by the peace committee, the object was most likely the barrel of a 12.7 mm M2 machine gun, Akahata wrote. Ospreys are equipped with heavy machine guns near the ramp so that the crew on board can provide cover fire to keep enemy troops occupied.

The peace committee stressed, “It is totally unacceptable for U.S. military aircraft to turn a gun on private houses while in flight.”

In Shizuoka Prefecture near the Tokyo metropolitan area, a U.S. Army special mission helicopter in July 2015 accidentally dropped a machine gun cartridge on the premises of a junior high school.

* * *

A sit-in protest on March 17 took place in front of the U.S. Yokota base, demanding the removal of CV-22 Ospreys from the base and the closure of the base. A local peace group working in areas near the base has organized this action every month for ten years and the latest was the 120th action.

Takahashi Mieko, who heads the group calling for the closedown of the Yokota base, highlighted how the military base poses risks to people living nearby. Takahashi criticized the recent incident in which a CV-22 recently flew over residential areas with its gun pointing downward. She expressed her determination to continue holding the action until CV-22s and the Yokota base are removed from their neighborhood.

Past related articles:
> Ospreys will be officially deployed to US Yokota base in Tokyo in October [August 23 and 24, 2018]
> US helicopter drops blank ammo rounds on schoolyard in Shizuoka [July 23, 2015]
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