Official: U.S. to Consult Japan Before Resuming V-22 Operations

The news is the latest development following a fatal U.S. Air Force CV-22 crash in Japan in late November that killed eight service members.

A V-22 Osprey aircraft bound for the Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) based at Camp Kisarazu prepares to depart Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni, Japan, July 6, 2020. [Courtesy: U.S. Marine Corps]

U.S. forces in Japan will consult with the country's government before resuming V-22 Osprey operations, according to Japan's top military official.

Speaking at a news conference Tuesday, Japanese Defense Minister Minoru Kihara told reporters that U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has "instructed the U.S. forces and relevant departments not to operate Ospreys in Japan without advance coordination with the Japanese government," according to a report in The Japan Times.

"Ensuring the safety of Ospreys is a joint top priority for Japan and the United States," Kihara said.

All V-22 variants in the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps have been grounded since early December amid an ongoing investigation into what caused a fatal crash.

The news is the latest development between U.S. defense officials and Japan in the wake of a fatal U.S. Air Force CV-22 crash in late November that killed eight service members. The incident prompted a massive search from five U.S. military branches alongside Japanese military search teams that included more than 1,000 personnel, 46 aircraft, 23 maritime vessels, and 21 unmanned aerial and underwater systems. 

Earlier this month, U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command confirmed that salvage efforts recovered the majority of the aircraft and that the investigation into the cause of the crash continues.

Kimberly is managing editor of FLYING Digital.

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