17:40 GMT +319 August 2019
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    Japan's Saga Prefecture Governor Agrees to Deploy 17 Osprey Aircraft – Reports

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Japan's Saga Prefecture Governor Yoshinori Yamaguchi has agreed with the defense ministry's plan to deploy 17 Osprey tiltrotor military aircraft in the prefecture, the NHK broadcaster reported.

    The tiltrotors are expected to be deployed at the Kyushu-Saga International Airport and will be used by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force to boost its capabilities, including for the protection of remote islands.

    According to the NHK broadcaster, the two sides have agreed that the government would pay 10 billion yen ($89.8 million) in airport landing fees to the prefecture over 20 years. The authorities will use this money to set up a fund to boost the local fishing industry.

    "The request of the defense ministry is related to security, which is fundamental for the country. It is the Saga prefecture's basic position to cooperate in the area of national defense policy, and we should also bear a certain burden. There is no unreasonable point in the defense ministry's explanation on safety, and I believe that today's agreement has eliminated some fears of fishermen," Yamaguchi said, as quoted by the broadcaster.

    READ MORE: Two US Osprey Military Aircraft Make Emergency Landing in Japan — Reports

    After securing the consent of the prefecture's authorities, the Japanese Defense Ministry is expected to enter negotiations with fishermen and owners of lands in the southern part of Saga city, where garrisons and other facilities are due to be constructed, the broadcaster added.


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