TOKYO — Thousands of people rallied Sunday against American deployment of Osprey military aircraft on a southern Japanese island amid escalating anti-US military sentiment following recent crimes.
Protesters gathered at a Tokyo park demanding removal of 12 Osprey hybrid aircraft from Okinawa.
Ospreys were deployed in October despite local opposition over safety concerns following two crashes elsewhere.
Anger is running high days after a US airman allegedly assaulted a teenage boy on Okinawa.
That came just two weeks after a curfew was imposed on all 52,000 American troops in Japan following the arrest of two Navy sailors in the alleged rape of a local woman.
More than half of the US troops in Japan are on Okinawa.
Also Sunday, the government postponed a decision on whether a fault line underneath Japan’s only operating nuclear plant is active and the facility should be closed.
A five-member team commissioned by the Nuclear Regulation Authority inspected the Ohi plant in western Japan last week.
They will meet again this week.