World News‎ > ‎

Controversial aircraft tops US-Japan defence talks agenda

posted 4 Aug 2012, 07:18 by Sam Mbale   [ 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.


"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.