OSAKA, Jan. 14 -- A series of disaster relief trainings using the U.S. Marine Corps' MV-22 Osprey transport based in Okinawa, southern Japan will be scheduled next month at training fields in the western Japanese prefectures of Kochi and Fukuoka, local press reported on Tuesday.
According to the daily Nishinippon Shimbun, both the United States and Japanese governments plan to conduct joint disaster relief training between the U.S. Marine Corps and Japan's Self- Defense Forces using the Osprey at SDF training fields in the prefectures of Kochi and Fukuoka in the middle of February.
The report cited Japanese government officials as saying that the expected trainings are following the cancellation of a similar drill once scheduled in October last year to reduce the burden of U.S. military bases on Okinawa Island and its people.
The report said that the drills in February will be carried out in a simulated scenario of a major quake with an epicenter in the Nankai Trough off Japan's Pacific coast.
The trough stretches along the east side of the country's key islands of Honshu and Shikoku, and an earthquake emanating from there could directly hit southern side of the Kochi area plus some other zones in Kyushu Island facing the ocean, also causing a tsunami.
The exercises are expected to raise much public concern over safety issues related to the aircraft.