New Ishigaki Airport is seen in Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture, on March 10, 2022, in this photo taken from a Mainichi Shimbun helicopter. (Mainichi)

NAHA — A total of four U.S. military Osprey transport aircraft made emergency landings at airports in Okinawa and Kagoshima prefectures on Sept. 14. All belong to U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, and no injuries have been confirmed.

At around 3:04 p.m., two Ospreys belonging to the Futenma base in the Okinawa Prefecture city of Ginowan made emergency landings at New Ishigaki Airport in the prefectural city of Ishigaki. One of them is believed to have had a malfunction, and the prefectural government and the Defense Ministry’s Okinawa Defense Bureau have been confirming the circumstances and details of the problem. The other aircraft is said to be in good condition.

The Ishigaki airport’s runway was temporarily closed due to the incident, but regular flights were not disrupted. According to the Okinawa government, local air traffic control informed the prefectural government’s airport administration office that two Osprey aircraft would be making emergency landings. The runway was reopened at 3:16 p.m.

On the same day, two other Ospreys also made emergency landings at Amami Airport in the Kagoshima Prefecture city of Amami.

In March 2022, two Ospreys belonging to the Futenma base also made emergency landings at New Ishigaki Airport.

(Japanese original by Hiroshi Higa, Naha Bureau)