Monday night a US Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey went down in shallow water off Japan’s southern island of Okinawa. No one was killed in the crash landing and all five crewmembers were rescued.
All crewmembers were transported to a US Navy hospital at Kadena Air Base according to a Marine Corps statement. The extent of injuries is not being fully reported at this time.
The incident has caused concern with the local population.
The crash just off Nago City triggered protests on Okinawa, where anti-U.S. military sentiment is already strong. Many Okinawans were opposed to deploying the Osprey on the island due to safety concerns following a string of crashes outside Japan, including one in Hawaii last year.
“This is what we have feared might happen someday,” Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine, told Japan’s NHK public TV from near the crash scene. “We can never live safely here.” – AP
Watch TV News Footage of the MV-22 Crash Landing
The Japanese Defense Minister has called on the Marine Corps to suspend all flights of the Osprey until the cause of the accident is known. A Marine Corps F/A-18 crashed just a week ago near Japan killing the pilot.
The MV-22 was based at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. The Osprey combines the abilities of a helicopter with the speed of a traditional fixed wing aircraft. Stationing the MV-22 in Okinawa strengthens the Marine Corps ability to help defend Japan and also provide humanitarian assistance in the region when needed.
Watch MV-22 Ospreys Arrive at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa
Featured Image by Takumi Sato/Kyodo News via AP