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Japan expresses concern about US Osprey plane persevering with to fly with out particulars of deadly crash

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TOKYO — Japan’s prime authorities spokesperson expressed concern on Friday that the U.S. army is continuous to fly Osprey plane within the nation with out offering sufficient details about a deadly crash this week in southwestern Japan regardless of repeated requests that it accomplish that.

One crew member was killed and 7 others are lacking, together with the plane. The reason for Wednesday’s crash, which occurred throughout a coaching mission, remains to be below investigation. Search operations widened Friday with extra U.S. army personnel becoming a member of the trouble, whereas Japanese coast guard and army ships targeted on an undersea search utilizing sonar.

The Pentagon stated Thursday that U.S. Ospreys proceed to function in Japan, and Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh stated she was not conscious of an official request from Japan to floor them.

“We’re involved in regards to the persevering with Osprey flights regardless of our repeated requests and the absence of a enough rationalization about their security” from the U.S. army, Chief Cupboard Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno stated Friday.

The U.S.-made Osprey is a hybrid plane that takes off and lands like a helicopter however can rotate its propellers ahead and cruise a lot sooner, like an airplane, throughout flight.

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Ospreys have had a variety of crashes, together with in Japan, the place they’re used at U.S. and Japanese army bases, and the newest crash rekindled security issues.

Japanese officers say they requested the U.S. army to halt Osprey flights in Japan apart from these concerned within the search operations.

Protection Minister Minoru Kihara stated he met with the commander of U.S. Forces Japan, Lt. Gen. Ricky Rupp, on Thursday afternoon and repeated his request that flights be allowed solely after the plane’s security is confirmed. He acknowledged that he didn’t particularly use the phrases “grounding” or “suspension.”

Kihara stated he requested Rupp to elucidate what measures are being taken for Osprey flights in Japan in response to the crash.

On Thursday, Japanese International Minister Yoko Kamikawa met with U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel and requested america “to promptly present data to the Japanese aspect.”

U.S. Air Pressure Particular Operations Command stated the CV-22B Osprey that crashed was one in every of six deployed at Yokota Air Base, residence to U.S. Forces Japan and the Fifth Air Pressure, and was assigned to the 353rd Particular Operations Wing.

The plane had departed from the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Yamaguchi prefecture and crashed on its solution to Kadena Air Base on Okinawa, Japanese officers stated.

A complete of 44 Ospreys have been deployed at U.S. and Japanese army bases in Japan. In Okinawa, the place about half of the 50,000 American troops in Japan are based mostly, Gov. Denny Tamaki referred to as on Japan’s protection and overseas ministries to request the U.S. army to droop all Osprey flights in Japan, together with in search operations.

“This can be very regrettable that Ospreys are nonetheless flying in Okinawa,” Tamaki stated in a press release Thursday. “I’ve severe doubts about Osprey security even for his or her search and rescue operations.”

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