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Coast Guard to file charges on 2016 Osprey crash in Okinawa

NHK reported today that in connection with the crash of an Osprey into waters off Nago in 2016, the Japan Coast Guard has decided to send criminal papers to the prosecutors without identifying the pilots responsible for the accident because it has been unable to obtain the U.S. Forces’ cooperation in the investigations. NHK noted that under the bilateral Status of Forces Agreement, the investigation of crimes and accidents by U.S. military personnel that occurred while they are on official duty requires the U.S. side’s consent. Although the U.S. military has issued a report saying pilot error was the cause of the accident, it has not responded to Japan’s request to name the crew members for questioning. With the statute of limitations approaching in three months, the JCG has decided to proceed to file criminal charges.

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