Tokyo, November 30th – A US military CV-22B Osprey aircraft carrying eight crew members crashed into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan’s southern island of Yakushima on Wednesday. The Osprey aircraft was conducting routine flight training when it suddenly disappeared from radar contact at around 6:40 PM.
A Japanese defense official stated that the Japan Self-Defense Forces have begun search and rescue efforts alongside US forces. The crash site was approximately 100 kilometers off Yakushima island. No details were immediately available on the condition of the eight personnel onboard the aircraft.
The crashed aircraft was assigned to the US Air Force’s 353rd Special Operations Group based out of Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan. Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported that Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada had instructed US forces to ground all CV-22 Osprey aircraft deployed in Japan temporarily following this incident.
At this delicate moment, the recent occurrence adds to the sensitivity surrounding the presence of the US military in Okinawa prefecture. Residents have expressed long-held grievances regarding noise, crime, and safety issues associated with the large cluster of US military facilities in the area. The circumstances surrounding this crash may heighten tensions if negligence is proven. Investigations into the cause of the accident are already underway.