The United States will end next week a worldwide flight ban placed on Osprey military aircraft in the wake of a deadly crash off a southwestern Japan island in November, The Associated Press reported Friday.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin endorsed plans for a safe and measured resumption of Osprey operations during a high-level meeting Friday morning, the U.S. news agency said, citing officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

On Nov. 29, the Air Force CV-22 Osprey went down off Yakushima Island during a routine exercise. The crash, killing eight airmen, was the deadliest involving the U.S.-made Osprey -- which takes off like a helicopter but flies much faster, like an airplane -- since their combat debut in 2007.

File photo taken in September 2018 shows a CV-22 Osprey aircraft at the U.S. military's Yokota Air Base in the western suburbs of Tokyo. (Kyodo) 

The crash renewed concerns in Japan, a major U.S. security ally, over the safety of the aircraft.

Following a series of requests from Japan, the U.S. military grounded all Ospreys in Japan and elsewhere after determining the accident may have been due to a technical malfunction.

Japan also grounded its fleet of 14 Ospreys.

The AP said the head of Naval Air Systems Command is likely to visit Japan next week to brief the Japanese government on the Osprey restart plans.

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