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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 December 13 - 19  > A year on from crash in Okinawa, MV-22 flights still left unchecked
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2017 December 13 - 19 [US FORCES]
editorial 

A year on from crash in Okinawa, MV-22 flights still left unchecked

December 13, 2017
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

A year has passed since a U.S. vertical take-off and landing aircraft MV-22 Osprey stationed at the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma base in Okinawa’s Ginowan City crashed on the coastal area in Nago City on December 13, 2016. After the accident, another Futenma-based Osprey crashed in the sea off the coast of Australia and others made emergency landings in various locations in Japan. In contrast to the Japanese and U.S. governments’ assertion that MV-22s are safe, the dangerous and defective nature of the aircraft has become obvious.

The Osprey Class-A accident rate per 100,000 flight hours soared to 3.27 as of the end of September this year from 1.65 in 2012 when the U.S. military deployed MV-22s to the Futenma base. A Class-A accident is defined as a serious mishap that resulted in a death or a loss of two million dollars or more.

The government led by Prime Minister Abe Shinzo requested the U.S. military to suspend flights of all aircraft belonging to the Futenma base after crash landings in December last year and August this year. However, Japan approved the resumption of flights as soon as the U.S. declared that Ospreys are free from mechanical or structural defects without providing any detailed information about the cause of the accidents. The Abe government should be held responsible for leaving Osprey flights unchecked.

As long as Ospreys are stationed in Japan, an MV-22-relatd accident could occur anywhere in Okinawa or the rest of Japan. The need is to deploy U.S. Ospreys out of Japan, close down and remove the Futenma base, and block the construction of a new U.S. base in Okinawa’s Henoko district.

Past related articles:
> JCP demands halt to Osprey flight drills in response to latest crash in Australia [August 8, 2017]
> Okinawans hold urgent rally to protest against US Osprey crash in Okinawa [December 18, 2016]
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