Ginowan Mayor asks Defense Minister to stop Osprey deployment

June 30, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

On June 30, for the first time since his inauguration Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto visited Okinawa to explain the plan for the MV-22 Osprey vertical take-off and landing transport aircraft’s deployment to U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station. That afternoon, he visited Ginowan Municipal Office to meet Mayor Atsushi Sakima.

The Marine Corps plans to operate the MV-22 squadrons from Futenma Air Station without restrictions. In this regard, the Mayor stated, “As the Ginowan mayor, I must ensure the security of the lives and property of more than 94000 citizens. I do not wish to accept the messages you have brought.” Sakima then asked the Defense Minister to put a stop to the Osprey deployment.

After his meeting with the mayor, with regard to the Osprey crashes in April and June, Morimoto told reporters, “They are very serious accidents. We want to come up with a solution after we find out what caused the accidents.”

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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