Kanoya Japanese Self-Defence Force Base - 27 January, 2016
1. Skip Holm, former US Air Force pilot, getting inside the plane
2. Various of Holm in cockpit
3. Holm surrounded by media before flight
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Skip Holm, former US Air Force pilot:
“We have all the pilots wanting to fly here pretty soon. Everybody wants to be a Zero pilot.”
5. Masahiro Ishizuka, owner of plane, surrounded by media
6. SOUNDBITE (Japanese) Masahiro Ishizuka, owner of plane:
“People say this is a symbol of war but this is just a machine and nothing more. Each individual engineers built this machine using their skills during the eras such as Meiji, Showa and Taisho (Japanese original period system in reference to the name of Japanese Emperor at that time). So, I found it unfair to put the blame of war on this Zero fighter.”
7. Various of people pushing fighter jet on Tarmac
8. SOUNDBITE (Japanese): Masahiro Ishizuka, owner of plane:
“I wanted for the people of Japan and especially young people to know about this Zero airplane as well as those who are old who remember the past. Each of them should have different thoughts and perspectives on this, but I just want people to know how Japan has developed its technology.”
A vintage Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter plane made its first-ever flight over the skies of Japan since World War II on Wednesday.
The Zero, considered one of the most capable long-range fighter jets of the period and as an to equivalent the legendary British Spitfire, made its successful take off from a Japanese Self-Defence Force base in Southern Japan.
The flight holds some significance for the Japanese people with many regarding the aircraft as a symbol of Japan's technological prowess, while also serving as a reminder of an unpleasant period in the country's history.
The plane was known for its use in Kamikaze attacks during the final phases of the war.
Kamikaze pilots took off for their missions from the very same location as Wednesday's flight - Kanoya Naval Air Base.
Taking place over 70 years after the war against the Allies ended, the flight was piloted not by a Japanese pilot but by a highly decorated former US Air Force pilot, Skip Holm.
This plane piloted by Holm was found in disrepair in Papua New Guinea in the 1970s.
Under the ownership of a US citizen, the Zero was eventually restored to flying condition.
The plane supposedly made an appearance in the Hollywood film "Pearl Harbor" and is oftern seen at various event in the US.
Masahiro Ishizuka, a Japanese businessman, purchased the plane from the former US owner with the hope to fly it over Japan for the first time after the war.
However, fulfilling his dream didn't come cheap.
Ishizuka and a group of others set up an online campaign to collect donations that could be used to fund the shipment of the aircraft to Japan.
The Zero arrived in Japan last September and, following an arduous process to get flight approval, Wednesday's flight finally became possible.
Around four to six Zero fighters are said to be operational throughout the world, but Ishizuka's aircraft is the only one owned by a Japanese person.
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