Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba said Saturday that it would not be practical for the U.S. military to hold some Osprey training drills at Yao in Osaka Prefecture.
Earlier this month, Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto and Osaka Gov Ichiro Matsui proposed holding the Osprey flight drills at Yao airport to help alleviate Okinawa's burden of hosting U.S. bases.
However, speaking on a Yomiuri TV program, Ishiba said Yao airport lies in a residential area and would not have the support of local residents.
Yao Mayor Seita Tanaka has already said he is opposed to having Osprey aircraft use the airport which does not currently have any regular commercial services.
Twelve of the controversial MV-22 Osprey aircraft are currently deployed at the U.S. Marine Corps' station in Futenma. The U.S. plans to deploy another 12 sometime during the summer.
U.S. military officials say the hybrid aircraft which can take off and land like a helicopter, is critical for regional security efforts.© Japan Today