Waterloo Region Record

Japan concerned U.S. still flying aircraft after crash

Japan’s top government spokesperson expressed concern Friday that the U.S. military is continuing to fly Osprey aircraft in the country without providing adequate information about Wednesday’s fatal crash.

One crew member was killed and seven others are missing following the crash off southern Japan, the Air Force Special Operations Command said in a statement Friday. One set of remains has been recovered, the Air Force said.

The search for the aircraft and missing crew members continues, the command said.

“Search-and-rescue operations consist of a combination of air, surface and subsurface search of water and coastline in the vicinity of Yakushima, Japan, in order to locate the crew members,” the command said.

The cause of Wednesday’s crash, which occurred during a training mission, is still under investigation. Search operations widened Friday with additional U.S. military personnel joining the effort, while Japanese coast guard and military ships focused on an undersea search using sonar.

The Pentagon said Thursday that U.S. Ospreys continue to operate in Japan, and Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said she was not aware of an official request from Japan to ground them.

“We are concerned about the continuing Osprey flights despite our repeated requests and the absence of a sufficient explanation about their safety” from the U.S. military, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said Friday.

In a statement Friday, Singh clarified that, while U.S. Osprey operations continue in Japan, the remaining five Ospreys from the squadron involved in Wednesday’s crash are not flying at present.






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