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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 September 27 - October 3  > MV22 makes emergency landing in Okinawa, bringing dangerous Ospreys into spotlight yet again
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2017 September 27 - October 3 [US FORCES]
editorial 

MV22 makes emergency landing in Okinawa, bringing dangerous Ospreys into spotlight yet again

October 1, 2017

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

An MV-22 Osprey stationed at the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma base in Okinawa made an emergency landing on September 29 at Shin Ishigaki Airport. On this day, another USMC Osprey crashed in Syria.

In October 2010, Osprey aircraft began being deployed at the Futenma base in Okinawa’s Ginowan City. Already, Futenma-based Ospreys have had two crashes - in December last year and in August this year. The Japanese and U.S. governments repeatedly claim that Ospreys are “safe” but these accidents brought into relief the fact that Ospreys are actually “dangerously accident prone”.

70% of Okinawans: Ospreys are dangerous

In a survey conducted by the Okinawan local paper Ryukyu Shimpo on September 28, 68.7% of Okinawans answered that the Osprey deployment “should be stopped”. The same survey also asked about the claimed “safety” of Ospreys, and 72.7% of the respondents said they think Ospreys are “dangerous” while only 4.4% answered the aircraft are “safe”.

Over the past year alone, the following incidents and accidents involving Ospreys occurred: a crash into the shallow water off Okinawa’s Nago City in December last year, injuring two crewmembers; emergency landings at USMC Ie-jima airport in Okinawa and at Amami Airport in Kagoshima in June this year; in August, a crash into the sea off the east coast of Australia, killing three crewmembers; and another emergency landing at Oita Airport in Oita in August, the aircraft emitting white smoke and flames.

According to the Ryukyu Shimpo survey, 80% “did not support” the Japanese government decision made soon after the crash in Australia to approve Osprey flights.

Ospreys and Henoko will be major campaign issues in Okinawa

Currently in Henoko in Okinawa’s Nago City, a new base for Ospreys is under construction as a replacement for the Futenma base in Ginowan City. The new base is said to need “a capacity to hold up to 100 Ospreys during emergencies” as former Defense Minister Morimoto Satoshi told Ryukyu Shimpo dated September 30.

In the coming general election, with an advance of the Japanese Communist Party and a victory of “All-Okinawa” candidates in four single-seat constituencies in Okinawa, Okinawan voters will demonstrate their will to allow neither the continuation of the Osprey deployment nor the new base construction in Henoko.

Past related articles:
> US Osprey grounded for more than a month due to engine malfunction[September 17, 2017]
> MV-22, before crashing in sea off Okinawa, repeatedly failed in attempts at aerial refueling[September 12, 2017]
> Osprey emits smoke again during repair work[September 8, 2017]
> Osprey emits unreported smoke the day before its emergency landing[August 31 & September 1, 2017]
> US military refuses flat out to ground Ospreys[August 9, 2017]
> Protests continue across Japan against Osprey flights after fatal crash[August 13&14, 2017]
> Okinawa presses state gov’t to halt Osprey flights[August 8, 2017]
>JCP demands halt to Osprey flight drills in response to latest crash in Australia[August 8, 2017]
> Latest crash verifies there is no place for defective US Osprey in Japan[August 7, 2017]
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