The government plans to introduce a special operations variant of the U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 tilt-rotor Osprey aircraft for Self-Defense Forces to conduct dangerous and covert missions abroad, such as the rescuing of Japanese citizens, according to sources.

The Ground Self-Defense Force has a special anti-terror unit to carry out such operations. But the unit is still not fully capable and lacks specialized aircraft.

Under the government plan, the CV-22 Osprey, the special operations variant of the MV-22, will be deployed along with refurbished models of the GSDF's UH-60 helicopter, the government sources said Saturday.