TOKYO - The US military’s Osprey aircraft arrived in Japan Monday as residents rallied against their deployment after recent crashes raised safety concerns. Live television footage showed the MV-22s being unloaded from a cargo ship at the US Marines’ base in Iwakuni. Local protesters in a dozen small boats demonstrated against the controversial aircraft’s arrival, chanting “We don’t want the dangerous Osprey!” and “Osprey, go back to America”. The demonstration against the unloading of the 12 aircraft would continue throughout the day, protest organiser Kiyoshi Oka told AFP. Although local governments in Japan have no legal grounds to reject the US deployment plan, strong local resentment, in particular in Okinawa where the aircraft will be based, could further erode public support for the government of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. The US military plans to fully deploy Osprey aircraft to Okinawa in October, while the governor of the sub-tropical Japanese island chain has denounced the US plan because of safety concerns. Following checkups at Iwakuni, the aircraft is destined for the Marine Corps airbase of Futenma in Okinawa, which has been at the centre of a long-running stand-off as it sits in a developing urban area. A separate rally was held outside the Futenma base Monday with protesters holding banners that said “We are opposed to deployment”, Jiji Press reported.