Okinawa Governor Rejects Plan To Deploy US Planes - KLFY News 10

Okinawa Governor Rejects Plan To Deploy US Planes

    The governor of the Southern Japanese island of Okinawa is opposing a plan to deploy US Osprey aircraft there follow two recent crashes.

    Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima told Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto in a meeting on Sunday he could not accept the US plan to deploy the new aircraft, which combine airplane like wings with tilt rotor engines that allow the plane to take off and land like a helicopter.

    In the last two months there have been two crashes involving Osprey aircraft.  One resulted in the deaths of both Marine pilots on board and the other involved an Osprey operated by the US Air Force that left five injured.

    The US does not technically need Japanese approval to deploy the planes there, but to station them on the island without the support of the local population is something the Pentagon may not be willing to do.

    In recent years the people of Okinawa have become increasingly unhappy with any US military personnel on their island and the United States has done what it can to go out of its way to reduce its foot print on the island.

    Officials with the Pentagon say they hope to sway the Governor's decision after providing his government with a briefing on the two crashes. 

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