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U.S. notified Japan of Osprey deployment on March 16

  • April 5, 2018
  • , Akahata , Lead story
  • JMH Translation

It was disclosed that the U.S. government notified the Japanese government on March 16 of the deployment of CV-22 Ospreys, U.S. Air Force special operations aircraft, earlier than scheduled to Yokota Air Base (Tokyo). Foreign Minister Taro Kono revealed this in hid Diet reply to a question from House of Representative member Toru Miyamoto of the Japanese Communist Party at a session of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the lower house on April 4.

 

U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) and the Defense Ministry announced the earlier than scheduled deployment of CV-22s to the Yokota base on April 3 when the airplanes had already arrived at the U.S. military’s Yokohama North Dock (Yokohama City). This means both the Japanese and the U.S. governments have concealed the information for nearly three weeks until their arrival. The two governments would unavoidably be under fire.

 

In May 2015, the U.S. government for the first time notified the Japanese government of its plan to deploy CV-22s to the Yokota base. Three Ospreys were initially scheduled to be deployed to the base in the latter half of 2017 and a total of 10 Ospreys by 2021. However the U.S. government postponed the start of deployment until some time between October 2019 and September 2020. However, it was suddenly announced on April 3 that five Ospreys will arrive at the Yokota base later this week.

 

Foreign Minister Kono stated that he received a “host nation notification” on March 16 from USFJ headquarters, informing Japan of the arrival of CV-22s. He explained, “The U.S. side requested not to announce it until coordination is completed.” Miyamoto asked the minister what was discussed between the two governments after the notification. But Kono declined to answer the question, saying, “I would like to refrain from commenting on details.”

 

In the event of a significant change in the equipment or troops of U.S. forces stationed in Japan, the U.S. government releases a host nation notification to the Japanese government. When U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Ospreys were deployed to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, the U.S. government notified Tokyo of the deployment on June 29, 2012 and the Foreign Ministry released the information the same day. (Abridged)

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