All Saturday papers reported on an announcement made on Friday by the Defense Ministry that it has accepted the resumption of flights by the Futenma-based Ospreys given that the U.S. military has implemented the necessary safety measures following the fatal Osprey crash in Australia. In allowing the resumption of the Osprey flights, the ministry reportedly considered U.S. explanations on the latest Osprey accident to be appropriate.
Projecting that the Futenma-based tilt-rotor planes will probably take part in the ongoing U.S.-Japan drill currently being held in Hokkaido, the papers said four MV-22s left Futenma on Friday morning and arrived at Misawa AB later in the day. Sunday’s Mainichi said the four Ospreys, along with an additional one that had been at Misawa since July 29, flew to MCAS Iwakuni on Saturday.
In a related development, Saturday evening papers reported on instructions issued by USMC Commandant Neller on Friday that all Marine aircraft will be grounded for 24 hours in the next two weeks in response to a series of fatal crashes, including the one in Australia.