politics

Noda tells Diet Osprey will not fly in Japan until their safety is assured

53 Comments

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told the Diet on Tuesday that he will not allow any flights of the U.S. military's latest transport aircraft in this country until its safety after two recent crashes has been confirmed.

Noda said that no flights of the Osprey would take place until investigations into the April and June crashes were completed and Japan was satisfied the aircraft are not a safety hazard. The U.S. government is scheduled to hand over the results of its investigations to the Japanese government in mid-August.

The deployment of the MV-22 Osprey to a U.S. base in Okinawa has become a political headache for Japan because of intense local opposition. The deployment of the aircraft has become a rallying point for base opponents.

The first 12 Ospreys headed for Okinawa arrived in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture, on Monday.

Yamaguchi prefectural and Iwakuni government officials have expressed anger that the central government in Tokyo ignored the wishes of local residents in approving the deployment of the 12 aircraft. Okinawa says it cannot OK their deployment.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura told reporters Monday that "we will make utmost efforts in obtaining understanding" from local residents on the Osprey deployment by providing information on U.S. probes into the latest accidents.

Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto said Japan will send its own investigation team to Washington.

© Japan Today/AP

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53 Comments
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Sorry, meant on scene not seen.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Aside from military applications, consider maritime rescues. They can be on the seen in less than half the time of a CH46. Once this happens, maybe more people will recognize their value.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Before getting excited, residents and Japanese government should investigate the rate of crush among each types of aircrafts. Having results, we should be cool to make a conclusion on which crafts are most danger for residents. Otherwise, it doesn't work.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

YuriOtani

I'm nitpicking? Seriously? Pointing out that you evidently can't tell the difference between a CH-46 and a CH-53 is hardly nitpicking. The two helos are so different in shape, size, capabilty and mission that it baffles me that you didn't know the difference between the two or that you didn't know which one crashed at MCAS Futenma in 2004, an incident which you've raised as part of your argument against the Osprey. Seriously, how can you repeatedly comment on the technical aspects of this subject as if you have first hand expertise on these aircraft when you don't have a handle on even the basics?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

USNinJapan, phrogs or frogs it is hard to understand Marines. They talk funny not the Queen's English. It sounded like frog to me. You are being nit-picky and the people of Okinawa do not want them flying over their homes. I tend to agree with you but the US Military is doing a horrible job of selling them to the people of Japan. Invite some city and town leaders to see and hear an Osprey in operation. Remember Americans are guests on Okinawa, when they act like they own it there is trouble.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

he will not allow any flights

I love his toothless posturing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Thank you Cletus. Despite YuriOtani's self-professed expertise on military hardware I've grown tired of having to correct her so often. Also, the 46's are called Phrogs because aside from kind of looking like a squatting frog they have a tendency to feel like they're 'hopping around' ever so slightly when you're spinning on deck. Of course they don't swim or float nearly as well as a frog though; that's probably why the helo dunker they put us through in flight school is based on the fuselage of a 46...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

YuriOtani

USNinJapan a frog is a CH-46 and it was a Sea Knight CH-53 that crashed at Futenma.

Yuri, USN is correct the CH-46 is called a Phrog (not a frog), and a Sea Knight is not a CH-53. The CH-46's official name is the CH-46 Sea Knight and its nickname is the Phrog. The CH-53 is a Sea Stallion and it was a CH-53D Sea Stallion that crashed at Futenma in 2004.

If you look at a CH-46 it sorts of squats like a frog. The US government could of saved a fortune by building updated models instead of pushing ahead with the Osprey

You realise the CH-46 is a 1950's design and that is why they are being replaced with a newer designed aircraft. One that is safer than the CH-46.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

USNinJapan a frog is a CH-46 and it was a Sea Knight CH-53 that crashed at Futenma. If you look at a CH-46 it sorts of squats like a frog. The US government could of saved a fortune by building updated models instead of pushing ahead with the Osprey. The sad truth is the Osprey can not do all of the duties of these tried and true aircraft. Why the US government is forcing these aircraft on Japan is unknown. It makes them look like bullies.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

YuriOtani

Also the "frogs" and Sea Knights have been very well taken care of and are NOT sodai gomi. My proof is the amount of flight hours they perform and their record. They are also overhauled on an ongoing process. Am very sure they are safe and even the accident at MCAS Futenma was a controlled descent into the ground.

First, Phrogs spelled with a PH and Sea Knights are the same thing. Second, what accident at MCAS Futenma? The only one I can recall involved the CH-53 crash in 2004, which obviously didn't involve a CH-46.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

sfip, this aircraft does nothing more to help defend Okinawa. The battle will be a air and sea battle. Ground troops can be brought to the remote islands by helicopters. It will be a battle using missiles and aircraft. Both sides aircraft can fight each other easy from bases in China or Okinawa. They would be hard pressed to attack the others bases without tanker support.

So I see a limited battle using ship to ship missiles and aircraft overhead. The Peoples Republic attacking bases in Okinawa or the mainland will invite their bases in China being attacked. Anyhow again, the SDF will be there to respond to the Peoples Republics attacks. If it lasts long enough I will be a part of it as well

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

YuriOtani Jul. 24, 2012 - 09:43AM JST just shows the Americans do not respect the government and people of Japan.

Is it better for Okinawa to get respect from China? Would that make it better? U.S. might need more of these Osprey helicopters in Okinawa soon. Yesterday, Chinese military official proclaimed that the islands of Okinawa are also rightfully Chinese territory. Major General Yinan said that Japan’s return of the Senkaku was not enough, and that Okinawa and the rest of the Ryukyu should be recognized as Chinese. As you know, 90% of mainland China respondents supported the use of military force in China’s efforts to protect the Senkaku Islands territory. Such tactics by China will only lead to a further dissolution of diplomatic relations between the two countries. With provocation from both Japan and China seeming to increase, they may already be headed down that path.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Fadamor, while something is legal it does not make it right. People around the world see how America says one thing and does another. This issue should not be pressed at this time. There is only 120 of them in the entire fleet. While the Osprey is faster it also has its own problems. Also the "frogs" and Sea Knights have been very well taken care of and are NOT sodai gomi. My proof is the amount of flight hours they perform and their record. They are also overhauled on an ongoing process. Am very sure they are safe and even the accident at MCAS Futenma was a controlled descent into the ground.

It would of been better for the US military to have had upgraded versions built instead of using this still unfinished aircraft. As they say on AFN, "it is a good ideal but needs more time in the drawing room".

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Good grass root pressure from the people in Okinawa. In a democratic society the people should have a word. The people in Okinawa have spoken. Get the Americans out. THey can protect Okinawa and Japan from Kansas. Just sign an agreement. Not difficult. Look at France, UK and most countries in Europe. They are allies yet not much Americans around.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Fadamor, what do you fly? Me I am a cheap person and enjoy my elderly Cessna 150 M which I operate on unleaded.

Piper PA-28 (Warrior II) Also an eldery model. I don't own, though. I rent. Saves on the ulcers everytime the plane has to go in for inspection. I'll leave the ulcers to the FBO.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@smith: Before Japan, China has Korea & Taiwan to worry about. It's time for the US to go. If a war, unlikely, was to break out, the US presence would bring more danger to Japan.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Read it has a stall speed of 126 miles per hour, about that of a Boeing 737 and remember it can not land well as a conventional aircraft. In fact it can not because of the blades.

Fadamor, what do you fly? Me I am a cheap person and enjoy my elderly Cessna 150 M which I operate on unleaded.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I'm with Bertie. Time to go. The US likes creating imaginary threats with her propaganda machine. US out = less tension in the region. Try it!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

They can leave the confirmation up to the same blokes that confirmed the nuclear reactors sitting on fault lines in Fukui are safe. They'll be confirmed safe in about 10 minutes. And as we have seen and as Hikozaemon explains, the Americans have no compunctions at all about inflicting another regime change if Japan doesn't comply.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Considering the Ospreys have to fly "in Japan" on their way TO the base before they can fly OUT of the base, I don't see how Noda's statement can be accepted as a fact.

That said, this is just a tempest in a tea kettle. Based on what little information there is regarding the two most recent crashes, at least ONE of them appear to be caused by operational decisions by the pilot that "pushed the envelope" rather than equipment malfunctions. Surprisingly enough, sometimes when they say the crashed was caused by pilot error, it really WAS caused by pilot error. And before someone starts mocking me, I AM a private pilot.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I believe the last time a Japanese PM promised to make the US military do anything, he ended up getting a rough spanking by Hillary Clinton and was forced to step down over the whole thing.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The plan of the low altitude training of Ospreys was cancelled at Cannon AFB, New Mexico because many local people opposed the plan and they feel very dangerous that Ospreys are flying over their residences. Americans naturally oppose it as well as Japanese do.

Nice try kwatt. Of course if you'd bothered to pay attention to the whole story or look it up yourself you'd know that the small opposition, if you could even call it that, were from local residents who were concerned about the volume of training flights in and around the Taos, NM area and the possible noise and pollution impacts as well as privacy issues. The residents voice these concerns about any low altitude training conducted by any aircraft. None of the articles I could find, like the one linked below, mention anything about residents voicing concerns over the Osprey's safety record or that they are afraid of the Ospreys crashing.

http://www.taosnews.com/news/article_8edf5e8a-da32-11e0-889f-001cc4c03286.html?mode=story

2 ( +3 / -1 )

that should be 'that the', not 'the that' >.<

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I saw the TV news today. The plan of the low altitude training of Ospreys was cancelled at Cannon AFB, New Mexico because many local people opposed the plan and they feel very dangerous that Ospreys are flying over their residences. Americans naturally oppose it as well as Japanese do.

The problem is the that Americans won't cancel the flights in Japan...

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I saw the TV news today. The plan of the low altitude training of Ospreys was cancelled at Cannon AFB, New Mexico because many local people opposed the plan and they feel very dangerous that Ospreys are flying over their residences. Americans naturally oppose it as well as Japanese do.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

only Americans take decision others just saving their face

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Even if every single of these Ospreys comes down in Japan, you will have died in many many traffic accidents before one of them could fall on your head - statistically ;-) It looks like the Osprey theater is very welcome to divert people's safety concerns from much more pressing issues...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Vernie Jefferies

Crashing that F-16 on Sunday morning near Hokkaido certainly did not ease the tension about these Ospreys coming here to Japan. Did anyone protest about the safety of the F-16?

I wonder if anyone protested the safety of the JASDF F-15's after their ongoing issues. Afterall they also fly out of Okinawa. Afterall in excess of 11 of these Japanese aircraft have crashed in recent years. Dont hear a peep about that now do we????

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Crashing that F-16 on Sunday morning near Hokkaido certainly did not ease the tension about these Ospreys coming here to Japan. Did anyone protest about the safety of the F-16?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I agree that it is already an established policy to eventually confirm the safety of the aircraft and allow them to fly. How can Noda refuse if the US is telling him they are there to help Japan on the Senkaku islands dispute. I also continue to trust the US could not be so thoughtless as to bring in aircrafts they themselves would not feel safe in having their own people fly, and perhaps more importantly, risk giving creating the final fatal blow to their relationship with the local residents.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

yuri: " It happens on the best of aircraft."

So what are you complaining about with the Ospreys, then?

"smithinjapan, this is different as the airliners have a incredible safety record"

Actually, compared to military aircraft and accidents, they don't really. Military aircraft are inspected and refitted FAR more often then commercial aircraft. Just look at the news today with regards to JAL, pointing out that their aircraft need to be fixed.

"The Ospreys have a built in flaw that airliners do not have."

How do you make this stuff up? No one 'built in' a flaw, and 'airliners' can also lose power, be it because of a bird-strike, lightning, or piss-poor management (again, JAL).

Anyway, Yuri, they'll be protecting you from China, so don't forget that on the next China thread, okay?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ospreys will fill the skies.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Cletus, what happens when both engines lose power? It happens on the best of aircraft. If it is in fixed wing mode they might be able to do a restart. In hover mode, well....

smithinjapan, this is different as the airliners have a incredible safety record. Consider their numbers and the billions of hours of operations a year. The Ospreys have a built in flaw that airliners do not have. There are times in their flight when a loss in power will result in a crash. There is no hiding this truth.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

if both engines happen to fail its goodnight for all on board.

And, of course, "Oyasumi nasai," for anyone it lands on.

Let's not forget them!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

It"S ME

@kwatt. Counter-rotating props, full-fills the same functions as a tail-rotor. Been used on Helicopters and Planes for many, many decades. Check some of the russian choppers with 2 props above each other, ditto for auto-giro,s.

Actually due to its design the MV-22 cant autorotate at all. This was deemed to not be an issue, as you pointed out both engines are linked so the lose of one engine does not affect the aircraft and it was deemed that the loose of both engines is such a remote possibility due to separate systems and controls for each. If it is in aircraft mode it can glide but if both engines happen to fail its goodnight for all on board. The USMC said that the chances of that happening is negligible.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Brother Blackrock,

I'm sorry, but all that "China is gonna invade Japan" is bulls. China will not dare lay a finger on anything, or else they are nuked for good. They might be bitching, but don't have the guts to start a war. All this military deployment is an excuse to spend money, and people at the top will put more into their pockets, not the soldiers sadly. Talk about corruption. Many people on JT bash the Jap government, while the US politicians are no less money-hungry hypocrites.

As you say, China is not going to invade Japan.

It's not a question of having guts or not. Guts don't have nothing to do with it.

They are businessmen. An act of aggression would lose them more customers than they could afford. They would also forfeit the possibility of the U.S.A. paying them back the billions it has borrowed from them.

Sadly, for the rest of what you write, I agree.

I truly wish it were not so.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

blackrock: "China will not dare lay a finger on anything, or else they are nuked for good."

And why not? The answer, of course, is because the US is here in the event that they do attack. So the 'bulls' you speak of, is Japan getting rid of the US presence.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@kwatt.

Counter-rotating props, full-fills the same functions as a tail-rotor. Been used on Helicopters and Planes for many, many decades.

Check some of the russian choppers with 2 props above each other, ditto for auto-giro,s.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Sorry they can still fly on a single engine

Even if they can fly it on a single engine somehow (seems incredibly too difficult), Next problem comes again! How do they land it safely? This aircraft definitely needs two engines to stabilize the whole fuselage like helicopter to land on the ground. A single engine will never make it to land safely because one heavy engine on edge of wing is very far from another engine, will crash finally.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

I'm sorry, but all that "China is gonna invade Japan" is bulls. China will not dare lay a finger on anything, or else they are nuked for good. They might be bitching, but don't have the guts to start a war. All this military deployment is an excuse to spend money, and people at the top will put more into their pockets, not the soldiers sadly. Talk about corruption. Many people on JT bash the Jap government, while the US politicians are no less money-hungry hypocrites.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Bertiewooster

The US government should stop the production of Osprey, but they can't stop now because this is the biggest military business. The government has used billions of dollars for Osprey development project for a long time. So they can't stop the production until manufacturers finished all on the schedule. If they stopped it on the half way, the government would be badly criticized by taxpayers. And there is actually no replacement of Osprey. That is why they would keep fixing problems and making Ospreys ever.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@ kwatt

Sorry they can still fly on a single engine..... no "heavy stone will just falll" power from the remaining engine is distributed to the two rotors through an interconnecting drive shaft. Took about 2 sec to google it and find out....

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I've heard that an American engineer of Osprey just said that Osprey is impossible to auto-rotate and not designed for auto-rotation because two engines simply tilt and too heavy aircraft.

Brother Kwatt,

If this is true, and I suspect it is because of all the hooha about its safety, the Osprey definitely should NOT be deployed in a built up residential area like Futenma.

It's not just the lies from the Japanese and US governments, it's the "oh-sorry-we-forgot-to-mention-that" omissions!

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Anyway, Noda has no choice -- he's just trying to milk a few points out of the people he couldn't care less about.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Yuri: "Suppose you are right Howard, just shows the Americans do not respect the government and people of Japan."

And only a few days ago you were demanding they defend Japan against China! The hypocrisy is ludicrous.

Anyway, how do you guarantee safety without flying them? JAL can't guarantee the safety of its fleet, while the Ospreys seem quite safe by comparison.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@It"s me

I've heard that an American engineer of Osprey just said that Osprey is impossible to auto-rotate and not designed for auto-rotation because two engines simply tilt and too heavy aircraft. Osprey is flying fast in the sky, then one of engines is stopped suddenly, I wonder if Osprey can continue to fly or glide with one engine for emergency landing? No, they can not fly any more. A heavy stone just will fall.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Yeah right...if and when something goes wrong he will take " personal responsibility " and be gone into a comfortable retirement following the obligatory " moushiwake gozaimasen ". Noda's safety assurances are not worth a squat ...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Kwatt.

If one engine fails the Pilot can engage a linkage and the one engine will power both rotors.

Yes, they can still auto-rotate, all Helicopters can do that.

And I can't see why I couldn't glide for a bit.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Suppose you are right Howard, just shows the Americans do not respect the government and people of Japan.

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

Regular Helicopters can do essential auto-rotation for safe emergency landing when engines stopped or are out of order but Osprey can not. Propeller airplanes can glide in the sky when engine stopped but Osprey can not. It means that Osprey will fall like a stone when it is out of control. I just wonder if Osprey can fly with one engine and land safely with one engine like a regular propeller?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

PM Noda is once again promising these Ospreys will not take off unless their safety is assured. Based on the PMs past promises, these Osprey will most likely fly whether they receive safety assurances or not.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

@BertieWooster

How entertaining!! Are you a gambling man? Would you bet your salary on Noda here?

I've never heard so many lies in my life. Japanese government and it's agencies, tell lies everyday it appears.

Of course they're going to fly. You can waste your own government's money but you aren't going to waste ours. Now that operations are set up here in Japan it will cost your government a lot of money to move the planes and the squadrons. Somewhere around the tune of a 3 to 4 billions dollars.

A lot has been invested into this. If you really want to move them lets discuss this with committees over time. We'll come up with projected costs as soon as we can.

Please make an appointment with the secretary on your way out.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Time for the US bases to close.

The war ended 70 years ago.

Well done U.S.A!

You won!

Now, please leave.

And take your Ospreys with you.

-13 ( +4 / -15 )

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