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Defense minister vows to find solution to air accidents

Jiji PressSAGA (Jiji Press) — Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera pledged efforts on Sunday to prevent accidents involving Self-Defense Forces aircraft following Monday’s crash of a Ground Self-Defense Force helicopter in the southwestern prefecture of Saga.

In a meeting with Saga Gov. Yoshinori Yamaguchi at the prefectural office in the city of Saga, Onodera offered an apology for the fatal helicopter crash in the Saga city of Kanzaki.

The Defense Ministry will investigate the cause of the crash and act to prevent any repeat of such an accident, Onodera said.

Yamaguchi said he is very concerned about the crash.

The governor said he feels that accidents involving SDF aircraft have been increasing in number. Any damage to residents should be avoided.

On Feb. 5, the GSDF AH-64D attack helicopter crashed into private housing, leaving its two crew members dead. Two houses were burned in the accident, and an 11-year-old girl, a resident of one of the two houses, was slightly injured.Speech

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