USA warplanes crash off Japan coast, rescue under way

USA warplanes crash off Japan coast, rescue under way

The U.S. Marine Corps said Thursday an FA-18 fighter and a KC-130 tanker aircraft were involved "a mishap" off the Japanese coast early Thursday. Japanese officials said two crew members were on FA-18, and five others on KC-130.

Meanwhile, the Japanese Foreign Ministry has expressed its regret over the crash of two U.S. military aircraft off the coast of the Japanese Kochi prefecture and asked the USA authorities to provide Tokyo with details on the mishap, local media reported on Thursday.

A spokesman for the Japanese Self-Defense (SDF) said another crew member had been found but there were no immediate details of the marine's condition.

One of the rescued crew members, who was in the FA-18, was taken to the Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in western Japan, while the other was taken to a ship of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, according to US and Japanese authorities.

The crew member rescued had been in the fighter jet, the minister confirmed.

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A Japanese search and rescue aircraft immediately responded to help in recovery efforts, the Marines said, adding the circumstances of the accident were under investigation. They were both in good condition and the aircraft carrier has since returned to normal operations, the Navy said.

The crash is the latest in recent series of accidents involving the USA military deployed to and near Japan. It is unknown which aircraft the second boarded.

Iwaya said the incident was "regrettable but at this point we are doing our utmost to rescue those still missing".

He said that there was no information that any passing vessels were affected by the crash.

"I will urge the government and the United States military to take thorough measures in finding out the cause of the accident and preventing a repeat", said Fukuda.

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