Six MV-22 Osprey aircraft were deployed at a U.S. military base on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa on Monday despite fierce opposition, news reports said.

The U.S. military transferred the tiltrotor aircraft to the Marine Corp Air Station Futenma from its Iwakuni base in western Japan, where six Ospreys remained after 12 were shipped from the U.S. in July, the Kyodo News agency reported.

The deployment came three weeks after about 100,000 residents held a rally in Okinawa, opposing the deployment of the aircraft to the Futenma base because of safety concerns about the helicopter-plane hybrids.

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