The Yomiuri ShimbunNAHA — An Osprey transport aircraft took off Monday morning from the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, according to local sources.
Following the recent Osprey crash off the east coast of Australia, the Defense Ministry asked the U.S. side on Sunday to voluntarily refrain from Osprey flights in Japan.
The Okinawa prefectural government’s opposition is certain to intensify given the Monday flight.
“I haven’t had a report on the situation there,” Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters at the ministry in Tokyo on Monday morning.
Also that morning, Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga told reporters at the prefectural government office: “[The accident in Australia] was bound to happen. The Japanese government doesn’t have the ability to say anything [to the U.S. side] as an involved party.”