Protestors stage a rally Nov. 4 in Tokyo against the deployment of the U.S. Marine Corps' MV-22 Osprey in Okinawa. (Itsuo Inouye / The Associated Press)
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TOKYO — Thousands of people have rallied against American deployment of Osprey military aircraft on a southern Japanese island amid escalating anti-U.S. military sentiment following recent crimes.
Protesters gathered Sunday at a Tokyo park demanding removal of 12 MV-22 Osprey hybrid aircraft from Okinawa. Ospreys were deployed in October despite local opposition over safety concerns following two crashes elsewhere.
They chanted, "Ospreys out! Marine Corps out!"
Anger is running high days after http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2012/11/ap-japanese-protest-us-troop-related-incident-okinawa-110212/">a U.S. airman allegedly assaulted a teenage boy on Okinawa, just two weeks after a curfew was imposed on all 52,000 U.S. troops in Japan after the arrest of http://www.navytimes.com/news/2012/10/ap-japan-decries-alleged-rape-by-us-troops-101712/">two Navy sailors in the alleged rape of a local woman.
More than half of the American troops in Japan are on Okinawa. The recent incidents have inflamed tension and distrust.