Japan asks U.S. to refrain from contentious Osprey flights in Japan

Updated 2017-08-07 10:07:19 Xinhua

Japan said on Sunday that it has asked the United States to refrain from flying the contentious Osprey aircraft in Japan, following an accident of the tilt-rotor aircraft off Australia a day earlier which left three U.S. Marines missing.

Japan's new Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters that Japan has urged the U.S. to disclose information about the accident and to take measures to prevent such accidents from recurrence.

"We will continue to ask the U.S. (to refrain from flying Ospreys) until we receive a solid explanation" about the accident, said Onodera.

He also said that Japan plans to discuss with the U.S. whether it would be appropriate for Ospreys to take part in joint training between the two countries scheduled between Aug. 10 and Aug. 28 in Hokkaido.

The U.S. military has deployed dozens of Osprey aircraft in its Futenma base in Okinawa, which has caused serious concerns from local people for a long time due to the American military tilt-rotor aircraft's record of fatal accidents.

A U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey aircraft belonging to the Futenma base in the city of Ginowan made a water crash-landing off Okinawa in December 2016, leaving two crew members injured.

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