US Osprey aircraft arrive in Japan amid protests

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Associated Press

Posted on July 22, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 23 at 12:31 AM

TOKYO (AP) — A shipload of the U.S. military's latest transport aircraft has arrived in Japan despite protests over safety concerns.

Workers began unloading and assembling the 12 MV-22 Osprey aircraft in the city of Iwakuni on Monday. The U.S. plans to deploy them to Okinawa once they are ready.

Residents and local leaders in Iwakuni and on Okinawa have demanded the plan be scrapped because they say the planes are not safe. Such concerns boiled over after Osprey crashes in Morocco in April and in Florida last month.

The planes have been used extensively in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the United States says they have a solid record. The Osprey can fly like an airplane and has tilting rotors that allow it to take off and land like a helicopter.

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