About 5,000 residents of Ginowan, Okinawa, protested on Sunday against the planned deployment of 24 U.S. MV-22 Osprey aircraft to the Futenma air base.
Ginowan Mayor Atsushi Sakima told the gathering that the Osprey is not safe and called on the central government to suspend deployment procedures, TBS reported.
The U.S. military plans to replace aging CH-46s with the Osprey after bringing them to Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture for assembly and testing in July.
The $70 million Osprey is the U.S. military’s latest-generation transport aircraft. It combines airplane-like wings with rotors that allow it to take off and land like a helicopter. Its engines roll forward in flight, allowing it to fly faster than a standard helicopter.
However, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said on Friday that Japan will suspend deployment procedures pending the results of the U.S. investigation into the crash of a U.S. Air Force CV-22 Osprey during a training mission in Florida last Wednesday.© Japan Today