TOKYO, June 27 (Xinhua) -- A top Japanese government official indicated on Wednesday that the nation will proceed with the planned deployment of the U.S. MV-22 and CV-22 Osprey aircraft in Okinawa.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura told a news conference that the government considered the plan as the U.S. military's change of equipment. The top government spokesman added that the decision was hard to be changed.
Governor of Japan's southernmost prefecture had called for the Japanese central government to abort the plan earlier this month. The tilt-rotor aircraft was set to be deployed at the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in the prefecture.
The aircraft is capable of both vertical takeoff and landing, and short takeoff and landing. It is a multi-mission aircraft developed to fill multi-service combat operational requirements. However, it suffered a series of fatal accidents during test flights.
The accidents had caused concerns among local governments and residents over the presence of the aircraft in such a densely populated district.
U.S. and Japanese officials on Friday met in Washington to discuss the safety issue of the aircraft. Pentagon officials held a director-level meeting with officials from the Japanese Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Foreign Affairs to provide an update on the status of the investigations into recent aircraft mishaps.