Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The U.S. forces in Japan plan to resume aerial refueling drills using the Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft on Friday, Japanese government sources said Wednesday.
Officials at the Defense Ministry’s local bureau in Okinawa Prefecture will visit the prefectural government and municipalities involved on Thursday to explain the resumption plan, according to the sources.
The drills have been suspended since the U.S. Marine Corps’ MV-22 Osprey transporter crash-landed and was wrecked in shallow waters off the coastline of Nago in the southern prefecture on Dec. 13.
The U.S. military has explained that the accident happened after a rotor of the aircraft was damaged during the refueling exercise.
The Okinawa government, which is demanding the removal of the Ospreys from the prefecture, is expected to react harshly to the plan to resume the crash-causing drills.