UPI in English  |   UPI Arabic  |   UPI en Español  |   UPIU

Air Force plans to deploy planes in Japan

Published By United Press International
TOKYO, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- A U.S. government official said the Air Force plans to deploy Osprey planes in Okinawa, but a Japanese official said Okinawa would never agree to such a plan.

Michael Donley, the U.S. Air Force secretary, said the CV-22 Ospreys likely would be deployed at Kedena Air Base in Okinawa Prefecture, Tokyo's Yomiuri Shumbun reported Sunday.

Susumu Matayoshi, an Okinawa prefectural spokesman told Christopher Johnstone, director for Northeast Asia at the U.S. Department of Defense, that Okinawa Prefecture would never agree to the planes' deployment.

Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera Friday said Washington had not informed it of plans for such deployment.

"Any deployment of the Air Force CV-22 to the Asia-Pacific region is years away. ... The United States has not notified the government of Japan about the CV-22 because we have not made a basing decision," the Pentagon later said.

Japan raised safety concerns about the CV-22 after one of the planes crashed in Florida during a training mission in June, the newspaper reported.

Washington gave Tokyo a report saying the crash was not due to mechanical defects, but rather was caused by human error, the newspaper reported.

"I would like to tell (the U.S. side) that they should act after carefully considering the feelings of Okinawans," said Onodera.
© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.

Photo Gallery
1 of 1
Tour de France concludes in Paris
Race winner Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain (C) stands between second place finisher Christopher Froome of Great Britain (L) and third place finisher Vincenzo Nibali of Italy on the presentation podium following the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris on July 22, 2012. Wiggins of Great Britain became that country's first ever overall winner of the Tour de France. UPI/David Silpa