TOKYO -- A cargo ship carrying 12 tilt-rotor aircraft arrived at a US military base in western Japan on Tuesday despite local opposition, reports said.
The MV-22 Osprey are scheduled for deployment at U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma on the southern island of Okinawa in early August, the Kyodo News agency reported.
In September, about 100,000 Okinawans demonstrated to oppose the deployment of the helicopter-plane hybrids at the base, located in the middle of residential areas.
The aircraft that arrived at the U.S. base in Iwakuni on Tuesday will join 12 already deployed at the Futenma base to replace aging CH-46 helicopters.
Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima has repeatedly urged Tokyo to reject the U.S. plan because of the Osprey's history of crashes.
Okinawa, comprising less than 1 percent of Japan's total land mass, hosts about 75 percent of U.S. military facilities in the country.