Japan discusses return of US plutonium

Kosuke Takahashi, Tokyo - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

19 February 2014

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that Japan is in talks with the United States over the return of 331 kg of weapons-grade plutonium supplied to Tokyo for research purposes during the Cold War era.

The negotiations are getting under way as the administration of US President Barack Obama aims to strengthen global nuclear security to reduce the danger of nuclear terrorism, a foreign ministry spokesman told IHS Jane's on 18 February.

"Japan itself is also placing importance on security of nuclear materials," said the spokesman. "To contribute to the strengthening of international nuclear security, we are co-operating with US efforts."

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USMC safety data: Osprey has higher rate of 'minor' mishaps

オスプレイは1機当たり1億ドル(=79億円)以上のコストがかかり、それが取って代わる老朽化したCH-46Eシーナイト輸送ヘリコプターよりも5倍以上の「金食い虫」となっている。オスプレイに使われている部品は、アメリカの40州にまたがる2000社から供給を受けており、アメリカの国会議員も選挙区民の雇用を考え、なかなかオスプレイに関する予算を削れずにいる。つまり、オスプレイは、アメリカの軍産複合体の真っただ中にある輸送機と言える。予算がずっと付いて作り続けている以上、多少の危険度があろうが、オスプレイを使わざるを得ないといったアメリカ側の切羽詰まった事情がある。こうした点は、アメリカの議会でも問題になっているが、日本ではほとんど報道されていない。例えば、ほんの一例として、Quigley Calls V-22 Osprey 'Dangerous Pork With Wings' を見てみると、その議会での問題ぶりがわかる。


USMC safety data: Osprey has higher rate of 'minor' mishaps

Kosuke Takahashi JDW Correspondent

Bell Boeing MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft were involved in 40 mishaps between October 2001 and July 2012, according to US Marine Corps (USMC) statistics, with accident rates for less serious class B and C mishaps higher than the averages for the corps' other aviation assets.

The statistics complicate the Ospreys' controversial deployment to Okinawa Prefecture, which has been the subject of public protests in Japan as a result of fears over the aircraft's safety record. Twelve MV-22s arrived at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture on 23 July ahead of their planned deployment to MCAS Futenma in Ginowan, Okinawa, in September. The aircraft are scheduled to begin operations there in October.

On 3 August US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta defended the MV-22's record after meeting with Japanese Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto in Washington, DC. "We have tremendous confidence in this plane," Panetta said. "We fly it in combat operations. We fly it around the world. We fly it here in this country. And we're tremendously confident that this plane can safely implement its operational mission."

The USMC data shows that MV-22 aircraft were involved in 1.93 class A mishaps per 100,000 flight hours from October 2001 to July 2012. Class A mishaps are defined as those leading to a fatality, permanent full disability or damage of USD2 million or more. The average number for the USMC aviation fleet is 2.45.

However, the MV-22's class B mishap rate was 2.85 compared to the fleet average of 2.07. A class B mishap is judged as involving permanent partial disability or damage costing USD500,000. The MV-22's class C mishap rate - involving a non-fatal injury or damage costing between USD50,000 and USD500,000 - was 10.46, more than twice the fleet average of 4.58.

According to the USMC figures, MV-22s have had four class A mishaps, nine class B mishaps and 27 class C mishaps, for a total of 40 mishaps since 2001. A USMC spokesman added that "18 of all mishaps happened while the aircraft was on the ground, [and] 30 of these mishaps took place on the ground or during landing and not while flying over populated areas or cities".


(NHK)米 オスプレイの軽度事故公表 8月8日 11時38分