(IntegrityPress.org) – Japan’s chief government spokesperson has voiced apprehension over the US military’s continued operation of Osprey aircraft in the country without giving sufficient details about the fatal crash that transpired on Wednesday, November 29.
On Friday, December 1, the Air Force Special Operations Command reported that one crew member lost their life, and seven others are missing as a result of the crash off southern Japan. The search for the aircraft and the missing crew is ongoing.
The cause of the crash, which took place during a training mission, remains under investigation. Search efforts have expanded, with additional military personnel joining, while Japanese coast guard and military ships concentrate on an undersea search deploying sonar.
Despite Japan’s repeated requests and concerns about the safety of Osprey flights, the Pentagon affirmed that these flights continue, without an official request from Japan to ground them.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno expressed concern about the ongoing Osprey flights, citing a lack of adequate explanations about their safety from the US military. In response, Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh clarified that while Osprey operations persist in Japan, the 5 Ospreys from the squadron involved in the recent crash are presently not in use.
While the search for the missing crew members persists, tributes have begun for Staff Sgt. Jacob Galliher, named as one of those killed in the crash. The Air Force has not publicly identified any members of the Osprey crew.
The Osprey, a US-made hybrid aircraft combining helicopter take-off and landing capabilities with airplane-like flight speed, has encountered multiple crashes, raising safety concerns. Japanese officials have urged the US military to halt Osprey flights in Japan, excluding those involved in search operations, pending confirmation of the aircraft’s safety. Defense Minister Minoru Kihara conveyed this request during a meeting with Lt. Gen. Ricky Rupp, the commander of US Forces Japan, emphasizing the need for transparency in sharing safety measures.
Copyright 2023, IntegrityPress.org