July 3, 2012
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on July 2 visited the prime minister’s official residence, demanding that the government request the U.S. to cancel the planned deployment of MV-22 Ospreys to Japan.
Shii pointed out the numerous defects of the aircraft, which have caused a series of crashes including fatal ones. Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura Osamu replied, “A media report that the Osprey has no auto-rotation landing capability is wrong. Actually, the aircraft can safely land without ‘using’ the function.”
The JCP chair said, “An analyst testified at the U.S. Congress that the aircraft has some defects in its auto-rotation capability. This has brought about fatal accidents, hasn’t it?”
Fujimura said to the chair, “I understand people have some concerns about the safety of the Osprey. We intend to explain the need of the deployment to local residents, taking into account how the Japan-U.S. security arrangements have contributed to the security of the Far East.”
Shii said, “To obtain the local people’s understanding is absolutely impossible. If an accident happens in a populated area, it will be too late. The government should require the U.S. to cancel the deployment of the airplane.” He also stressed that if the government uses the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty as an excuse for enforcing the deployment, it will lead to increasing public opinion seeking the abrogation of the treaty.
“I understood what you said and will relay your opinion to the prime minister,” the secretary answered.