The prefectural assembly of Okinawa in Japan has urged the U.S. authorities to drop the plan to deploy Osprey aircraft in the island prefecture on safety reasons.
The assembly unanimously adopted a resolution on Tuesday asking the Japanese government to take up the issue with the United States which plans to deploy the Osprey at its Marine Corps Futenma air base in Okinawa despite protests from the islanders, Japanese media reported.
The resolution says concern and anger are being voiced by residents around Futenma, as well as people in other areas where the U.S. military plans to conduct training for the aircraft.
It says that deployment at Futenma is unacceptable, as it runs counter to a policy of removing sources of danger from Futenma as soon as possible. Moreover, the base is located in a densely-populated area of the island in southern Japan.
One of the new Osprey aircraft, which is capable of vertical landing and take-off, crashed in Morocco in April, killing two crew-members and another went down in the U.S. state of Florida earlier this month.
The Okinawa prefectural assembly had adopted a similar resolution in July last, calling for withdrawal of the U.S. plan to deploy the aircraft. All 41 municipal councils in Okinawa have expressed their objections to Osprey deployment.
Earlier on Tuesday, Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto said Japan had received a report from the United States stating that the two Osprey accidents occurred during tilting of the aircrafts' rotors.
The Florida accident occurred during target practice when the rotors were tilted halfway, while in the Morocco crash the aircraft lost balance while its rotors were moving from an upright to forward position, he told reporters in Tokyo quoting the U.S. findings.
by RTT Staff Writer
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