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Controversial aircraft tops US-Japan defence talks agenda

posted 4 Aug 2012, 07:18 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 4 Aug 2012, 07:19 ]

Defence ministers from the U.S. and Japan discuss the crash-prone Osprey, which is poised to be deployed at an American military base in Okinawa. Andrew Raven reports.

USA-OSPREY/DEFENCE MINISTERS - Japan's defence minister and officials get an up close look at an Osprey - a controversial half plane, half helicopter.


The U.S. military wants to station several of the aircraft at a base on the Japanese island of Okinawa.


But the Osprey has been plagued by crashes and safety concerns have sparked a public uproar in Japan.


On Friday, Defence Minister Satoshi Morimoto met with his U.S. counterpart Leon Panetta in Washington to discuss the aircraft - which Panetta called perfectly safe.


U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY LEON PANETTA SAYING:

"We have tremendous confidence in this plane. We fly it in combat operations, we fly it around the world, we fly it here in this country."


Morimoto said a committee would take an independent look into the Osprey's safety record before making any decision.


The Osprey plan is part of a larger U.S. effort to rebalance its forces in the Pacific.


Andrew Raven, Reuters.

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