TOKYO, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- The governor of Okinawa called Monday for cancellation of the U.S. Marine Corps' plan to deploy the Osprey aircraft at an air base in the prefecture, citing safety concerns.
"I want (the U.S. military) to stop short of the deployment one way or another," Governor Hirokazu Nakaima said in a meeting with Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto at the ministry in Tokyo.
The Japanese government last Wednesday confirmed the safety of the MV-22 Osprey aircraft, giving nod to the fleet of 12 Ospreys' deployment at the U.S. Futenma Air Station in a crowded residential area of Ginowan city in the southernmost Okinawa Prefecture.
The central government is seeking to send Morimoto to Okinawa this week to explain about the deployment and try to gain understanding from the local authorities amid strong public opposition due to safety worries about the aircraft following a deadly crash in Morocco in April and another crash in Florida in June.
Some of the Ospreys that are planned to be put into operation by mid-October have gone through test flights last week. Demonstration rides of the Osprey for local officials are scheduled on Thursday.
The multi-mission Osprey is a hybrid aircraft with rotors that allow it to take off like a helicopter and engines that can tilt forward, enabling it to fly at higher speed than a chopper.