Authorities on the Island of Okinawa need the US’ V-22 Osprey fleet grounded after the incident
Not less than one individual has been killed and several other others injured after a V-22 Osprey plane operated by the US army crashed off Yakushima Island in southwestern Japan on Wednesday. The crash is the newest in a sequence of accidents involving the tilt-rotor plane.
The airplane, which was assigned to the Yokota Air Base in Tokyo, disappeared from radar whereas en path to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa on Wednesday afternoon, in accordance with the Japanese Protection Ministry.
The Japanese Coast Guard stated that it obtained a misery name moments earlier than the Osprey crashed into the ocean close to Yakushima Island, a number of hundred kilometers north of Okinawa. One of many six individuals aboard the plane was discovered useless on the scene, the coast guard stated, whereas a gaggle of native fishermen informed Reuters that three others have been discovered close by in unknown situation.
Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki informed reporters that he would search the suspension of all US Osprey flights in Japan “till the reason for the accident is recognized.” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, an in depth accomplice of Washington, stated that he wouldn’t push for a grounding till the crash is investigated.
In service since 2007, the V-22 Osprey can take off vertically like a helicopter, earlier than tilting its twin rotors ahead and flying like a standard turboprop airplane. The US and Japanese militaries are the world’s solely operators of the plane.
The crash is the second such incident in Japan involving an Osprey. A crash touchdown onto an Okinawa reef in 2016 enraged locals, who have been already livid over two instances of rape and homicide by US troops earlier that yr. Of the US’ 54,000 troops in Japan, the bulk are stationed on Okinawa. Locals stage annual protests in opposition to their presence, with this yr’s demonstrations drawing giant crowds amid Japan’s ongoing remilitarization and rising tensions between the US and China.
Apart from the 2 crashes in Japan, the US has misplaced 11 Ospreys to crashes and malfunctions since 2007. Three US Marines have been killed and 20 injured when the Osprey they have been touring on crashed throughout a coaching train in Australia in August, whereas 5 Marines died when their Osprey crashed close to Glamis, California final June. An undisclosed variety of Ospreys have been grounded in February over a clutch situation that was blamed for a minimum of 4 incidents since 2017.
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