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Japanese city balks at US aircraft deployment

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June 11, 2012 11:54 PM EST | AP


TOKYO — A Japanese city says it will not allow the U.S. to briefly deploy its Osprey aircraft there until it is assured of the safety of the plane after a recent crash.

Japan's defense minister said Tuesday he may go to the city of Iwakuni to persuade local officials to accept the temporary deployment, but Iwakuni's mayor has said he needs more assurances that the aircraft is safe after the fatal crash in Morocco in April.

The U.S. military wants to replace aging helicopters on the island of Okinawa with the Osprey after bringing them to Iwakuni for assembly and testing.

Opposition to deployment of the aircraft has spiked since the accident. Two Marines were killed in the April crash.