The Daily Manila Shimbun


Okinawa asks US to suspend Osprey flights

August 8, 2017

KITANAKAGUSUKU- Okinawa Vice Governor Moritake Tomikawa asked the head of US forces in Okinawa Prefecture on Tuesday to suspend operations of MV-22 Ospreys in Japan until the cause of a fatal crash of the tilt-rotor aircraft off Australia has been identified.

"I can't help but feel angry" about the US forces continuing Osprey flights despite calls from the Japanese government for them to be suspended, Tomikawa said at a meeting with Lt. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson at the US Marine Corps' Camp Foster, also known as Camp Zukeran, located in the village of Kitanakagusuku and other municipalities in Okinawa, southernmost Japan.

Nicholson expressed understanding of Tomikawa's concern. But he said the flights cannot be halted, citing military policy.

US troops across the world continue Osprey operations, including in Okinawa, Nicholson said.

The MV-22 Osprey that crashed off the eastern coast of Australia on Saturday was among those deployed at the US Marines' Futenma air station in Ginowan, Okinawa. Three of the 26 crew members aboard the aircraft have been confirmed dead in the accident.

At a press conference in Tokyo following a cabinet meeting, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said he will continue to call on the United States to suspend Osprey flights.Jiji Press