• Naha, Okinawa


As for the Oct. 31 Kyodo article “Some officials argue for equipping (Self-Defense Forces) with Ospreys“: As if to thumb its nose at Okinawa’s vociferous opposition to deployment of the Osprey tilt-rotor transport aircraft at U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, the central government is examining whether it can equip the SDF with the Osprey. It is said that the Foreign Ministry, which has no jurisdiction over defense matters, is intent on purchasing the Osprey while the Defense Ministry dithers.

I can’t help feeling that U.S. pressure on Tokyo to buy the aircraft has begun at last. Regardless of the issue on which Washington pressures Tokyo, Japanese bureaucrats resist at first, or at least try to, but Washington knows well that it eventually will win and dictate terms. So, probably, Tokyo will decide to buy the Osprey.

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