U.S. Ospreys deployed in Okinawa amid strong public opposition
News On Japan via Mainichi -- Oct 01
Six U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Ospreys were deployed at an air base in Okinawa Prefecture on Monday, drawing sharp reactions from local people who are opposed to the move amid persistent concern over the aircraft's safety.
The tilt-rotor transport aircraft arrived at the Marines' Futenma Air Station, located in a densely populated area in Ginowan, Okinawa, after leaving the Iwakuni Air Station in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture, in the morning.
The deployment, which came a day after police forcibly removed residents and activists who staged a sit-in in front of the Futenma base's gates, left local officials resenting and deploring the Marine action.
"Going ahead with the move while the anxieties of the people of the prefecture remain unaddressed is beyond my comprehension," Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima told reporters. "It is disappointing and extremely regrettable."
Ginowan Mayor Atsushi Sakima, whose city hosts the Futenma base, told reporters that he was outraged by the deployment.
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