A formal request by the Okinawa Prefecture as well as a similar request from Japan’s national government asking the US military to stop flying MV-22 Ospreys over the country have been ignored by the Pentagon, and the use of the planes will continue.
The MV-22 Osprey is a pivoting wing aircraft, generally used for transport operations. There have been long-standing concerns about its safety, which grew with a Saturday incident off the coast of Australia, in which an Osprey crashed, killing three US Marines.
Okinawan officials are particularly upset at the lack of a response, because the substantial US presence on the island is already extremely unpopular, and there is a growing sense that the US military isn’t taking their wishes into consideration.
The Pentagon downplayed the issue, saying that safety is a “paramount” concern for them, but not directly addressing the doubts about the Ospreys. They said there was talk with the Japanese government about safety in general terms, though it appears there will be no such discussion with the Okinawans.
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