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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 August 2 - 8  > Okinawa presses state gov’t to halt Osprey flights
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2017 August 2 - 8 [US FORCES]

Okinawa presses state gov’t to halt Osprey flights

August 8, 2017
Following the latest crash in the sea off the coast of Australia of a MV-22 Osprey stationed at the U.S. Futenma base, Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi on August 7 urged the Abe government to put a halt to flight training exercises of the same type of aircraft by the U.S. military in Japan.

Deputy Governor Tomikawa Moritake on this day summoned the Defense Ministry Okinawa Defense Bureau chief, Nakajima Koichiro, and the Foreign Ministry Ambassador in charge of Okinawa affairs, Kawada Tsukasa, into the prefectural office to hand over to them a written protest signed by the governor. Tomikawa also made a strong protest against the fact that an Osprey departed from the U.S. Futenma base in the morning of the same day in defiance of Okinawans’ fierce opposition to continuing to allow flights of accident-prone Ospreys.

Nakajima said, “I feel sorry to have caused local residents great fear. This morning, I met with Lt. Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson, Okinawan Area Coordinator for U.S. Forces, and requested the U.S. military to refrain from flying MV-22 Ospreys stationed in Okinawa.”

Regarding the latest Osprey crash, Governor Onaga earlier on the same day said to the press, “The latest crash came as no surprise.” The governor referred to the fact that the U.S. military stopped grounding Ospreys just six days after the crash in the shallows off Nago City at the end of 2016. He said, “It is unreliable to rely on the U.S. military to investigate the cause of the latest accident. On the other hand, the Japanese government lacks the willingness to lodge a complaint against the U.S. Forces.”

Past related article:
> Okinawans hold urgent rally to protest against US Osprey crash in Okinawa [ December 18, 2016]
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