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Japan Wants US Choppers Grounded After Crash

Remains found near crash site
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2013 8:08 AM CDT

(Newser) – Japan is calling on Washington to stop flying its HH-60 helicopters in the wake of yesterday's crash in Okinawa. "We have asked the US not to fly the same aircraft until they find out the cause of the accident and take preventive steps," says defense minister Itsunori Onodera. Meanwhile, the US says it has discovered remains near the crash site and is ending its search for a missing crew member. The remains still haven't been identified; reports yesterday suggested all four members had survived.

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Three crew members are hospitalized in stable condition, Stars and Stripes reports. Some 200 Okinawa locals protested outside the US Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station. "US military aircraft crashes could occur anytime. The military bases should be removed," said a demonstrator, per GlobalPost. The protest comes amid daily demonstrations against the planned deployment of MV-22 Osprey aircraft, seen by some as a safety risk; now, the US is delaying the deployment, Stars and Stripes notes. "While the MV-22s are operationally ready to deploy to Okinawa, we will delay their departure out of respect for the desires of our Japanese partners and hosts," says a Marines statement. (Read more helicopter stories.)

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