US to ship helicopter-plane to Japan, delay flight
News On Japan via Reuters -- Jun 30
The Pentagon said Friday it
would start shipping 24 hybrid aircraft to Japan next month but
would not fly them until final results of crash investigations
confirmed for Tokyo that the helicopter-plane is safe.
The Marine Corps' MV-22 tilt-rotor troop transport's
troubled past has stirred safety concerns and protests on
Okinawa, the southern Japanese island where the Pentagon intends
to deploy it as part of a streamlined U.S. military presence.
Long-running friction involving Okinawa has complicated the
Obama administration's plans to boost the U.S. military presence
in the Asia-Pacific after 10 years of land wars in Iraq and
"In recognition of the remaining concerns of the Japanese
government about the safety of the aircraft," the Defense
Department will refrain from flights until final investigation
results are presented to the Japanese government "and the safety
of flight operations is confirmed," a Pentagon statement said.
The Pentagon said it anticipated presenting the results in
August. In the meantime, Japan will be the only place worldwide
where such flights will be suspended, including over the
continental United States.
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