US to meet with Japan on helicopter concerns

Thursday - 6/21/2012, 2:29pm EDT

By LOLITA C. BALDOR
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. defense officials will meet with Japanese government representatives Friday morning to discuss the safety of Osprey helicopters after one of the tilt-rotor aircraft crashed last week.

Plans to base some of the Ospreys in the city of Iwakuni were put on hold last week, as Japanese officials said they need more assurances the aircraft is safe. Opposition has been rising to putting Ospreys in Japan ever since one crashed during a training exercise in Morocco, killing two Marines and injuring two others.

Pentagon press secretary George Little says military and civilian defense officials will update the Japanese on the two crashes, including initial results that determined the April crash was not caused by a mechanical failure.

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