12:00 AM, August 6, 2012
The U.S has announced that it will ground all flight operations of the MV-22 Osprey that was recently installed in Japan until Tokyo confirms the safety of the planes. Safety concerns have been raised by residents concerned over crashes. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, said, “A security check has been carried out by the US and details of the Osprey in Morocco and Florida crash will also be provided”. "As close allies, we will always respect the concerns and the circumstances on both sides and work together to develop practical solutions. In recognition of the remaining concerns of the Japanese government about the safety of the aircraft, we will refrain from any flight operations of the MV-22 in Japan in the short term," Panetta added. In an effort to ease concerns, the U.S. military tried to win over Japan’s Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto by flying him on one of the hybrid aircraft. The U.S will present a report to Japan by end of August and expects to restart flight operations with Tokyo’s consent. Another variant of the Osprey crashed in June in Florida, injuring five crew members, which U.S. officials say was not due to mechanical problems. The United States has sent 12 Osprey aircraft to Iwakuni, a Marine base near Hiroshima on the main island of Honshu with plans to shift them to Okinawa.