U.S. eyes resumption of Osprey transport to Okinawa next week

The U.S. military has informed the Japanese government of its plan to resume moving Osprey aircraft to Okinawa next week after suspending shipment due to a fatal crash of a U.S. Air Force helicopter, a government source said Friday.

Ten Ospreys are to be transported from Iwakuni, western Japan, to the Futenma Air Station in Okinawa, where they will join two others already shipped earlier this month.

The 12 tilt-rotor aircraft are the second batch to be deployed in Japan following the arrival of the first dozen last summer.

Transport of the planes was suspended after the crash of an HH-60 rescue helicopter on Monday at the U.S. Marine Corps' Camp Hansen in Okinawa, southwestern Japan.

The U.S. military wants to resume the transport as early as Monday, the source said.

But the resumption could be delayed amid stiff local opposition to the Osprey deployment because of the aircraft's mixed safety record overseas.