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U.S. military confirms departure of Osprey aircraft for Japan.

WASHINGTON, July 17 Kyodo

The U.S. Marine Corps confirmed Wednesday that a batch of 12 Osprey military aircraft has left San Diego for their deployment in Japan.

A commercial ship carrying the 12 units of the MV-22 tilt-rotor transport aircraft departed San Diego on Tuesday and will arrive at a U.S. Marine Corps base in Iwakuni in western Japan in late July, a Marine spokesperson said.

After being unloaded at the Iwakuni base, the 12 airplanes will join another 12 units already stationed at the Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture next month at the earliest, replacing all of the force's aging CH-46 helicopters.

The arrival of the second Osprey squadron will help the U.S. military heighten the capability "in terms of security and humanitarian assistance for the entire Asia-Pacific region," the Marine spokesperson said.

Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima has opposed the deployment of the aircraft in the southern island prefecture, which already hosts a bulk of U.S. military forces in Japan, due to its history of crashes, including a fatal accident.
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Publication:Japan Transportation Scan
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Jul 22, 2013
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