US, Japan end joint military exercises in Japan
Updated: 2013-10-18 15:00
OSAKA - The US Marine Corps and Japan's Self-Defense Forces (SDF) ended on Friday joint military exercises using the MV-22 Osprey transport aircraft in the western Japanese prefecture of Shiga, local press reported.
A total of 230 military personnel from both forces participated in the 11-day joint drill, which was carried out at an SDF training field in the prefecture.
The joint event was officially arranged as part of both countries' efforts to reduce the burden of US military bases on Okinawa and its people, according to Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK), Japan's public broadcaster.
During the program on October 16, two Osprey transport aircrafts, part of the squadrons based in the U.S. Futenma Air Station in the southern Japanese prefecture of Okinawa, were used for the first time in their joint training program conducted in the country, the report added.
Following the Shiga drill, they are also planning to carry out a disaster relief exercise in Kochi Prefecture on Shikoku Island, western Japan, next week, using the transport in a simulated scenario of a major quake with the epicenter in the Nankai Trough off Japan's Pacific coast.
The report said that their next plan in Kochi has already caused public unrest over safety issues related to the aircraft, while defense officials has repeated meetings with the heads of seaside cities to dispel heightened public concern.