Japan Today on the United States Department of Defense announcing it will deploy Ospreys at Yokota AB in Tokyo in 2017:
The Pentagon said on Monday it plans to station a squadron of tilt-rotor CV-22 Osprey aircraft at the Yokota Air Base in Japan to enable U.S. special operations troops to respond quickly to crises in the Asia-Pacific region.
The first three Air Force variants of the CV-22 will arrive at the U.S. base on the outskirts of Tokyo in the last half of 2017, with an additional seven due to arrive by 2021, the Pentagon said in a statement.
The Osprey, which takes off like a helicopter and then rotates its propellers to fly like a plane, obtained a reputation for technical difficulties and safety problems during its development phase in the 1990s. Since then, it has largely overcome the issues, but crashes during training exercises in Morocco and Florida in early 2012 exacerbated Japanese concerns about the planes.
The residents of Okinawa – rightfully so – were vehemently opposed to these aircraft being deployed to a base situated in a semi-rural area of the island. Now that the U.S. plans to station a CV-22 squadron on mainland Japan, I suspect this will not be the last time we hear about Osprey’s in the news here in Japan.