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Cabinet Decisions and Other Announcements

Message from Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on the MV-22 Osprey aircraft

Monday, October 1, 2012

[Provisional Translation]

Taking seriously the concerns of the people of Okinawa regarding the MV-22 Osprey aircraft, the Government investigated the causes of the mishaps and conducted a series of discussions at the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee on measures to prevent the recurrence of similar mishaps as well as to ensure the safe operation of the MV-22 in Japan, and reached a conclusion. Based on the results that were recently released, the Government believes that the safety of the aircraft has been sufficiently confirmed.

The MV-22 is a highly capable aircraft that will constitute a core capability of the U.S. Marine Corps, and its deployment to Japan has great significance for the security of Japan. Meanwhile MV-22 flight operations are based on the premise that maximum considerations will be given to safety as well as to the lives of the residents in the area. I ask for the understanding of the people of Japan and of those in the local communities.

At the same time, I have renewed my recognition that the people of Japan as a whole need to take to heart the burden borne by the people of Okinawa since the end of the war.

Based on this viewpoint, the Government will step up its efforts to reduce the burden on Okinawa and advance its development, including the earliest possible relocation and return of Futenma Air Station. Furthermore, from the standpoint of reducing the burden on Okinawa, we will work hard to share the burden across the country, including taking concrete steps toward relocating MV-22 flight training to the mainland.

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