Japan approves US Marine flights of Ospreys after crash

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TOKYO: Japan on Friday said it would allow Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft to continue to operate in the country, accepting US assurances that the flights are safe following a fatal crash off Australia. The US Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey aircraft, which was based at an airbase in Japan, crashed on Saturday while on exercises off the Australian coast, leaving three service members missing and presumed dead. Itsunori Onodera, Japan’s new defense minister, had asked the US to temporarily stop flying the aircraft in his country following the accident, the latest deadly incident involving Ospreys. But on Friday, Japan’s defense ministry issued a statement saying that the US military “is taking reasonable measures” and “the US force’s explanation that it can conduct safe flights of MV-22 Ospreys is understandable.” The comment came a day after the US Marine Corps said in a statement it concluded “the Osprey is safe to fly” and “resumed operations” after initial investigation into Saturday’s incident.

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AFP

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