Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

US fighter jet crashes off Japan coast

US fighter jet crashes off Japan coast

After a US fighter jet crashed into the ocean Monday morning, the Kadena Air Base in Japan grounded its fleet of F-15s pending a review.

JAPAN- A US F15 fighter jet crashed off the southern coast of Japan on Monday but the pilot ejected and was rescued by Japanese forces, Tokyo's defence minister said.

Medics rushed the pilot to a United States naval hospital by helicopter with a broken leg, but his injuries are thought to be "non life-threatening".

The fighter was conducting a routine training flight, according to the air base, when the plane crashed into the waters south of Okinawa, Japan, where the base is located.

Okinawa hosts the bulk of USA military facilities in Japan and the accident is likely to renew concerns among residents about the safety of US military aircraft. "I want to firmly demand safe flights".

After Monday's incident, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera once again called on the USA military to ensure the safety of its aircraft and prevent future occurrences.

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"Japan also uses the same type of aircraft", Onodera said.

"I will ask for detailed reports about why it happened", he added.

The Okinawa prefectural government has called for the grounding of all F-15s. "Your quick response proves once again how valuable an asset you are to the U.S./Japanese alliance", Kadena Air Base, where around 47,000 American troops are based, said in a statement on Twitter.

"If the problems remain unresolved and another crash occurs, people may become used to it and think that this is how things stand in Okinawa Prefecture", Onaga told reporters.

"We can not fulfill our responsibilities for our children and their children if such a situation becomes the norm", he said.

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