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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 November 29 - December 5  > US Osprey crashes into waters off Kagoshima, first fatal accident in Japan
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2023 November 29 - December 5 [US FORCES]

US Osprey crashes into waters off Kagoshima, first fatal accident in Japan

November 30 & December 1, 2023

A U.S. military CV-22 Osprey aircraft belonging to the U.S. Yokota Air Base (Tokyo) on November 29 crashed into the sea off Kagoshima’s Yakushima Island.

One of the eight crewmembers on board was confirmed dead as of November 30, and the search for the seven others continues. This is the first fatal accident involving Osprey aircraft in Japan.

Following the fatal crash, Tamaki Denny, the Governor of Okinawa Prefecture in which U.S. bases are concentrated, issued a comment demanding that the U.S. military suspend flights of all Ospreys, including Marine Corps MV-22s, until the cause of the latest accident is determined.

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on November 30 at a press conference in the Diet building pointed out that accidents involving the tilt-rotor aircraft have been repeatedly reported right from the research and development process to the present and thus the aircraft has been criticized as inherently structurally defective. He said, “The Liberal Democratic and Komei government should bear a grave responsibility for the accident as it has allowed the U.S. to deploy the accident-prone Ospreys to Japan and promoted the introduction of such airplanes to Japan’s Self-Defense Forces.”

Shii said that JCP Dietmembers on the day urgently submitted to Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, Foreign Minister Kamikawa Yoko, and Defense Minister Kihara Minoru a written request to: halt operations of all Ospreys deployed to U.S. bases in Japan as well as to the Ground SDF and identify the cause of the latest crash; remove all U.S. military Ospreys from Japan; and suspend the further introduction of Ospreys in the GSDF and remove the existing aircraft.

Furthermore, Shii referred to a U.S. Osprey crash in the waters off Okinawa’s Nago City in 2016, and pointed out that at that time, the Japanese government gave a rubber stamp to the U.S. decision to resume Osprey flights before determining the cause of the accident. He said, “The government, based on its subservience to the U.S., has taken an irresponsible attitude toward past Osprey accidents, which has led to the latest crash. The JCP will strongly urge the government to drastically revise its position.”

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