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Japan has no plans to seek a suspension of Osprey flights despite restrictions in US

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Japan has no plans to seek a suspension of Osprey flights despite restrictions in US
News

News

Japan has no plans to seek a suspension of Osprey flights despite restrictions in US

2024-06-14 19:29 Last Updated At:19:41

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's defense chief said Friday that Japanese and American V-22 Ospreys are being safely operated in his country, and that he has no plans to request a flight suspension despite restrictions in the U.S. where ongoing safety and performance assessments will continue until next year.

Defense Minister Minoru Kihara said that Japanese and U.S. military officials have closely communicated over technical issues involving the safety of Ospreys following a fatal November crash off Japan's southern coast.

“Japanese and U.S. Ospreys have been operated safely and I believe there is no safety issue involved," Kihara said. “We have no intention to seek a suspension of the operation.”

Aircraft that had completed necessary maintenance, in addition to further training of pilots, have returned to flight service, and they are operated with upgraded safety checks, maintenance, flight plans, emergency measures and other steps, he said.

Kihara was responding to a question about a remark by Vice Adm. Carl Chebi, head of U.S. Naval Air Systems Command, that hundreds of U.S. military Ospreys won't be permitted to fly their full range of missions until at least 2025 while the Pentagon addresses safety concerns in the fleet.

The November crash killed eight U.S. servicemembers, causing the fleet to be grounded for about four months. The Ospreys in March returned to flight but not to full missions such as carrier operations.

Twenty-nine Ospreys deployed to U.S. military bases in Japan under the bilateral security alliance, as well as 14 others operated by Japan's Ground Self Defense Force, which had been also grounded, resumed flights in mid-March.

Asked about restrictions to Ospreys operated in Japan, Kihara said that he couldn't comment if or what restrictions are attached, citing national security reasons. He said he wasn't informed of the content of Chebi's remarks to U.S. Congress in advance, and that officials are asking Washington to explain details.

The Osprey, in use since 2007, can fly like an airplane and land like a helicopter. Critics say its innovative design has systematic flaws that are behind the unexpected failures. Among the reasons for the extension of restricted flight is that the military is still working to fix a clutch failure that was identified as one of the primary factors in a fatal crash in California in 2022.

Over the lifespan of the Osprey program, Chebi said a total of 64 service members have been killed in air and ground crashes, with 93 others injured.

Tara Copp contributed to this report from Washington.

Japan has no plans to seek a suspension of Osprey flights despite restrictions in US

Japan has no plans to seek a suspension of Osprey flights despite restrictions in US

FILE - A U.S. Marine Corps Osprey aircraft taxies behind an Osprey carrying members of the White House press corps at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., April 24, 2021. Over the last two years, four Osprey crashes have killed a total of 20 service members. On Wednesday, June 12, 2024, the House subcommittee on National Security, the Border and Foreign Affairs will hold an oversight hearing into the Osprey's safety record and Pentagon management of the program. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

FILE - A U.S. Marine Corps Osprey aircraft taxies behind an Osprey carrying members of the White House press corps at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., April 24, 2021. Over the last two years, four Osprey crashes have killed a total of 20 service members. On Wednesday, June 12, 2024, the House subcommittee on National Security, the Border and Foreign Affairs will hold an oversight hearing into the Osprey's safety record and Pentagon management of the program. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Japan has no plans to seek a suspension of Osprey flights despite restrictions in US

Japan has no plans to seek a suspension of Osprey flights despite restrictions in US

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Jo Adell drove in an early run and had two hits, and José Soriano pitched six resourceful innings in the Los Angeles Angels' 2-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night.

Four Angels pitchers held Seattle scoreless for the final eight innings, with Carlos Estévez pitching the ninth for his 17th save. Los Angeles has limited the first-place Mariners to one earned run in the last 16 innings of this series, with the Angels winning both games.

“Pitching, defense, timely hitting,” Angels manager Ron Washington said. “That's what it was. We played a solid ballgame.”

Soriano (5-7) gave up just one run despite allowing five hits and four walks and hitting two batters with wildly off-the-mark pitches. In his third start since returning from a back injury, he struck out five and ended Mariners rallies in three of the first five innings by retiring Luke Raley three times, stranding eight runners in the process.

“I was attacking the zone,” Soriano said through an interpreter. “I was commanding pitches. I had a little bit of turbulence, but I passed through it.”

Julio Rodríguez had an RBI single in the first inning for the Mariners, who have lost two straight after winning the first three games of their Southern California road trip.

George Kirby (7-7) yielded just three hits and one earned run over six innings for Seattle, striking out seven.

“They threw some really good pitching at us tonight,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “It came down to (the fact) we made an error in the middle of the field, which we typically don't do, and we just weren't able to overcome it. We had some chances against Soriano, but we needed to come up with a big hit, and we didn't do that tonight. Uncharacteristic play for us.”

Seattle led after three batters. J.P. Crawford drew an 11-pitch leadoff walk and scored on singles by Cal Raleigh and Rodríguez. Raley grounded into a double play with two on to end the first.

Los Angeles went ahead 2-1 in the second inning when Mickey Moniak singled, stole second and scored on a long single by Adell. Zach Neto then ran home when Raley's throw from right field rolled to the Angels' dugout. Raley was charged with a throwing error.

Raley also struck out with the bases loaded in the third, and grounded out with the bases loaded in the fifth.

Ben Joyce threw a 103.4-mph fastball during his 11th straight scoreless outing for the Angels. The reliever gave up a leadoff double in the seventh before striking out Crawford, Raleigh and Rodríguez on 12 combined pitches with his combination of heat, an improving slider and an 86-mph changeup.

“I feel like every time I've just been getting more comfortable, and you're seeing the results,” Joyce said.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: LHP Gabe Speier performed well in his bullpen session Friday, manager Scott Servais said. Seattle is hoping Speier can return after the All-Star break.

Angels: RHP Andrew Wantz had season-ending elbow surgery, the team announced Saturday. He made one major league appearance this season.

UP NEXT

Seattle's Logan Gilbert (6-5, 3.59 ERA) makes the start that will force him to miss his first All-Star Game. The Angels hadn't yet announced who will start a bullpen game.

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB

Seattle Mariners' Julio Rodriguez, left, hits an RBI single as Los Angeles Angels catcher Logan O'Hoppe watches during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Seattle Mariners' Julio Rodriguez, left, hits an RBI single as Los Angeles Angels catcher Logan O'Hoppe watches during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Carlos Estevez celebrates after striking out Seattle Mariners' Victor Robles to end their baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. The Angels won 2-1. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Carlos Estevez celebrates after striking out Seattle Mariners' Victor Robles to end their baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. The Angels won 2-1. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels shortstop Zach Neto, right, can't handle a ball hit by Seattle Mariners' Mitch Garver as center fielder Mickey Moniak watches during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. Garver was safe at first on the play. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels shortstop Zach Neto, right, can't handle a ball hit by Seattle Mariners' Mitch Garver as center fielder Mickey Moniak watches during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. Garver was safe at first on the play. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Seattle Mariners' Victor Robles gets back back to first after J.P. Crawford lined out during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Seattle Mariners' Victor Robles gets back back to first after J.P. Crawford lined out during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Collin Snider, left, makes a catch on a ball hit by Los Angeles Angels' Nolan Schanuel as first baseman Ty France watches during the eighth inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Collin Snider, left, makes a catch on a ball hit by Los Angeles Angels' Nolan Schanuel as first baseman Ty France watches during the eighth inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Carlos Estevez throws to the plate during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Carlos Estevez throws to the plate during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels second baseman Keston Hiura, left, gets set to tag out Seattle Mariners' Josh Rojas as Rojas attempts to steal second during the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels second baseman Keston Hiura, left, gets set to tag out Seattle Mariners' Josh Rojas as Rojas attempts to steal second during the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher George Kirby throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher George Kirby throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels' Zach Neto, left, covers his head as he scores on a throwing error while Seattle Mariners designated hitter Mitch Garver, center, stands by during the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels' Zach Neto, left, covers his head as he scores on a throwing error while Seattle Mariners designated hitter Mitch Garver, center, stands by during the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels second baseman Keston Hiura, center, falls over Seattle Mariners' Josh Rojas aafter tagging him out as he tried to steal second during the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels second baseman Keston Hiura, center, falls over Seattle Mariners' Josh Rojas aafter tagging him out as he tried to steal second during the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Jose Soriano throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Jose Soriano throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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