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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 November 13 - 19  > Air SDF gives up exhibiting US Ospreys at its base festival
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2013 November 13 - 19 [SDF]

Air SDF gives up exhibiting US Ospreys at its base festival

November 19, 2013
Facing protests from local residents, the Defense Ministry on November 18 announced its decision to cancel its plan to exhibit the U.S. military transport Osprey aircraft at an open day festival of the Air Self-Defense Force.

Three days earlier, the ministry had announced the plan to invite the tilt-rotor aircraft with vertical takeoff and landing capability to the festival scheduled for November 24 at the ASDF Gifu Base (Kakamigahara City, Gifu Prefecture). Defense Minister Onodera Itsunori expressed his hope for the event to become an opportunity to gain understanding from people on the mainland on the need for the operations of the aircraft.

As local residents expressed concern over the crash-prone Osprey flying to the Gifu base which is located in the middle of residential areas, Japanese Communist Party members of the Kakamigahara City Assembly demanded that the city raise its voice in opposition to the exhibition plan.

On November 18, the Kakamigahara City mayor and three leaders of municipalities around the base met with the commander of the base to submit a statement demanding an explanation of safety measures. The SDF side in reply said that it will cancel the exhibition of the Osprey in order to send them for disaster relief efforts in the typhoon-hit Philippines.

Hatano Koume, who heads the JCP Kakamigahara City Assembly members’ group, pointed out that the quick response of the four municipal heads against the plan led to the withdrawal. “In collaboration with people in Okinawa, we will strengthen our movement against the Japanese and U.S. governments’ attempt to conduct dangerous Osprey flight training exercises all around Japan,” she said.
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