Tokyo: Thousands of people have rallied against American deployment of Osprey military aircraft on a southern Japanese island amid escalating anti-US military sentiment following recent crimes.
Protesters gathered today at a Tokyo park demanding removal of 12 MV-22 Osprey hybrid aircraft from Okinawa. Ospreys were deployed in October despite local opposition over safety concerns following two crashes elsewhere.
They chanted, "Ospreys out! Marine Corps out!"
Anger was running high days after a US airman allegedly assaulted a teenage boy on Okinawa, just two weeks after a curfew was imposed on all 52,000 US troops in Japan after the arrest of two Navy sailors in alleged rape of a local woman.
More than half of American troops in Japan are on Okinawa. The recent incidents have further inflamed tension and distrust.