Osprey to star in ASDF air show

Kyodo

The controversial U.S. tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey aircraft will debut to the public at the Air Self-Defense Force’s Nyutabaru Air Base in Miyazaki Prefecture on Dec. 1, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Tuesday.

The Osprey, which can take off and land like a helicopter and cruise like an airplane, has been deployed to U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa.

“I would like many people to actually see and know more about the aircraft,” Onodera said at a news conference.

The Defense Ministry scrapped plans to show the Osprey at an air festival at the ASDF’s Gifu Air Base on Sunday because it was unable to coordinate the arrangement with the local government and the U.S. military.

A total of 24 Ospreys have been deployed to Okinawa since last year.

Many residents of Okinawa, where anti-base sentiment is high, have expressed safety concerns about the Osprey in light of accidents involving the aircraft overseas.