Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

US F-15 fighter jet crashes near Japan’s Okinawa - Kyodo

US F-15 fighter jet crashes near Japan’s Okinawa - Kyodo

A US F-15 fighter jet crashed off the southern coast of Japan on Monday (June 11), local media reported, adding that the jet's pilot ejected and was rescued by Japanese forces.

Japan's NHK television station said the rescued pilot had a broken leg.

The plane can be equipped with a number of different air-to-air weapons that included AIM-7F/M Sparrow missiles or AIM-120 AMRAAM advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles.

The latest crash adds to a slew of other accidents involving United States military aircraft in recent years, which have fanned safety concerns and local opposition to the military bases there.

There are roughly 50,000 U.S. military personnel based in Japan, about half of them in Okinawa. It occurred during a "routine training mission", the Air Force said.

There was no immediate confirmation of the crash from the defence ministry, which said it was gathering information on the report, or the U.S. military. "Accidents involving USA military aircraft are occurring repeatedly".

Okinawa Prefecture has been the site of several recent accidents and incidents involving US military aircraft, including the Osprey tilt-rotor transport aircraft. "We will continue asking them to ensure safety", he said.

"We can not fulfil our responsibilities to our children and their children if such a situation becomes the norm", Okinawa governor Takeshi Onaga said.

Kadena Air Base, where around 47,000 American troops are based, thanked ASDF for saving the pilot in a statement on Twitter. "I don't think there is a country like this among developed nations". Last Monday, a Taiwanese pilot perished when his F-16 fighter crashed in the mountains of Taiwan at the start of annual live-fire drills.

Officials said the cause of the accident is unknown.

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