Japan investigation backs US finding on April Osprey crash
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — After an independent investigation, Japan’s Ministry of Defense said Tuesday it backs U.S. findings that an April crash of an Osprey aircraft which killed two Marines in Africa was caused by pilot error and not mechanical failure.
Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto planned to travel to Okinawa on Wednesday to discuss the findings with the prefectural government, which has claimed the airplane-helicopter hybrid is unsafe and strongly opposes an upcoming deployment of the aircraft to the island’s Futenma air station.
The Japanese government still is reviewing the crash of an Air Force Osprey in Florida earlier this summer that injured crew members. It is expected to make an overall determination on the MV-22’s safety in September, about a month before the Marine Corps plans to begin air operations.
The United States has said it will not fly the Ospreys here until Japan is satisfied they are safe. The aircraft remain in service elsewhere in the world.