In Japan, on July 23, the first 12 Osprey's arrived to protests. The Ospreys will be on the Japanese mainland at Iwakuni Air Base only briefly, but opposition there has been "unusually strong, with both the mayor and the governor saying they do not support even temporarily hosting the aircraft. Opposition to the large military presence on Okinawa is deep-rooted. Protesters on July 23 held a sit-in outside the base where the Ospreys are to be sent."The US Embassy in Toyko countered on July 23 by stating that the 12 Ospreys are critical to defending Japan, "Deployment of these aircraft in Japan is a vital component in fulfilling the United States' commitment to provide for the defense of Japan and to help maintain peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region."
The next day, on July 24, Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told the Japanese Parliament that no Osprey flights would take place until investigations into the Oprey's April crash in Morocco and the June crash in Florida were completed and Japan was satisfied the aircraft are not a safety hazard.
The deployment of the Osprey to Okinawa is a political headache for Japan because of intense local opposition. Half of the 50,000 US troops in Japan are located in Okinawa. The deployment of the aircraft has become another rallying issue for base opponents.
Protests of RIMPAC on Oahu and the Big Island
July 2, 2012, activists in Honolulu held their first protest of the RIMPAC
exercises. In front of the two New Zealands ships easily accessible at Aloha
Tower in Honolulu's commercial harbor, one activist held a sign saying: "Mahalo (Thank
you) New Zealand for anti-nukes; No Aloha for RIMPAC war games."
RIMPAC protesters in front of two New Zealand ships at a commercial dock at Aloha Towers as US government would not allow Kiwi ships into Pearl Harbor Naval Base
More protests occurred at Pohakuloa military training base on the Big Island of Hawaii
On July 15, 2012, 30 protesters challenged the desecration of Hawaiian lands in a protest against RIMPAC war games. As they gathered opposite the main gate of Pohakuloa Military base, a red flag flew over the base indicating that live fire and bombing was taking place. Concerned citizens from Hilo, Kona, Waimea and Na'alehu, included old time Kaho'olawe Island "Stop the Bombing" activists (Kaho'olawe Island was used for bombing practice for over 50 years and only stopped in 1990 after a decade of protests by the Hawaiian community Members of the Ka Pele family who several years ago led a peace gathering to pray and build an ahu (stone altar) at Pu'u Ka Pele on Pohakuloa in opposition to the bombing found that access to the ahu and pu'u has been blocked by concrete barricades and chain linked barbed wire fence.