Japanese authorities on Tuesday referred the case of a US military pilot to prosecutors over the 2016 crash of an Osprey aircraft that fuelled sentiment against a US base on Okinawa island.
The crash did not kill anyone and only caused injuries to two of the five crew members aboard the US Marine MV-22 Osprey.
The Pentagon described the December 2016 crash as a “mishap”, which saw the plane end up in shallow water off Okinawa.
But Japanese coast guard officials on Tuesday referred the case to prosecutors on suspicion that the pilot had been flying too fast, causing the crash, a coast guard spokesman said.
Under the terms of the Japan-US Status of Forces Accord that governs the presence of US troops in the country, Japan can indict US military personnel accused of crimes in the country.
But Japanese courts do not have automatic jurisdiction to hear the cases.
The coast guard spokesman said the pilot has not been identified by US forces, and that the American military has so far not cooperated with the investigation into the accident.
The incident sparked anger on Okinawa, a strategic outpost of US military power, which hosts more than half of the 47,000 American military personnel in Japan.
The military presence is a sensitive subject on the island, where many feel other parts of Japan should share the burden of hosting US personnel.
The incident also came at a delicate time, with Tokyo and Washington pushing to build a new airbase on Okinawa despite local opposition.
The MV-22 Osprey, a so-called tilt-rotor plane, is half helicopter, half turboprop with the manoeuvrability of a chopper and the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft.
But a series of accidents involving the plane have prompted protests by Okinawa residents concerned about its use on the island.
‘Stand with Hong Kong’ shirts fill the stands at Nets game as NBA is protested for China subservience
The National Basketball Association was protested on Friday for bowing to pressure from China.
The NBA has been harshly criticized for standing by the oppressive regime instead of standing in solidarity with the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
"Producer and activist Andrew Duncan bought 300 tickets to tonight's Nets vs Raptors game and is hosting hundreds of Chinese pro-Democracy activists to protest the NBA," New York magazine correspondent Yashar Ali reported Friday. "They're all wearing 'Stand With Hong Kong' T-shirts."
Photos from the protest:
1. Producer and activist Andrew Duncan bought 300 tickets to tonight's Nets vs Raptors game and is hosting hundreds of Chinese pro-Democracy activists to protest the NBA.
Trump polling close friends over whether he should fire Mulvaney: report
President Donald Trump is considering firing Mick Mulvaney, his acting White House chief of staff and director of the Office of Management and Budget, The Atlantic reported Friday.
"Mick Mulvaney's job was in danger even before his disastrous press conference yesterday, and his equally disastrous attempt to walk that performance back," The Atlantic reported. "The fumble could not have been more poorly timed: According to multiple current and former White House officials, many of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to relay private conversations, Trump has been steadily souring on Mulvaney for weeks."
Michael Moore predicts Mick Mulvaney will get into Heaven after confessing Trump’s quid pro quo
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore predicted acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney will ascend to Heaven in the afterlife during a Friday interview on MSNBC's "The Beat" with Ari Melber.
The host played a clip of Mulvaney admitting Trump's quid pro quo while seeking foreign election assistance from Ukraine.
"This man obviously is going to be admitted into Heaven," Moore said. "You know, he told the truth."
"If there was a movie version of this, somebody stuck him with a needle just before he walked out onto the stage there, a truth serum needle, and he just went on and on saying, 'Yeah, that’s what we do. Yeah, of course.' Essentially admitting there is a quid pro quo. In fact, there are many quid pro quos."