The Yomiuri Shimbun yesterday on the deployment of Osprey at Yokota and how the aircraft are expected to increase deterrence in the region:

Thus it is hoped that the U.S. forces will be deployed expeditiously in the event of such large-scale disasters as an earthquake with its focus directly beneath Tokyo or along the Nankai Trough. In the wake of Nepal’s devastating earthquake, the MV-22s stationed in Okinawa Prefecture have been dispatched to disaster-stricken areas.

In this respect, it is worrisome that there is still misunderstanding over the Osprey’s safety record.

Serious accidents involving MV-22s occurred at a rate of 2.12 per 100,000 flight hours as of last September, ranking the MV-22 low in terms of accidents among all U.S. military aircraft. While the corresponding rate for CV-22s is slightly higher at 7.21, the figure reflects a reduction by half over four years. The U.S. military should do everything it can to enhance the safety of Osprey operations.

For its part, the Japanese government is set to provide information about safety and noise countermeasures to municipalities where Osprey aircraft will be stationed, including Fussa, Tokyo. The government must bear in mind that such explanations must be considerate as well as convincing.

Timely article, having been published just one day prior to today’s Osprey hard-landing incident in Hawaii.