US F-15C fighter jet crashes off Japan's Okinawa

US fighter jet crashes into sea off Japan - reports

According to sources close to the matter, the condition of the pilot who was rescued by the Japanese side after ejecting from the jet remains unknown.

After two helicopters made emergency landings in Japan at the beginning of 2018, Defense Secretary James Mattis called to apologize for a series of US aerial accidents.

Japan has about 200 F-15s deployed as the main aircraft of the Air Self-Defense Force.

There are roughly 50,000 United States military personnel based in Japan, about half of them in Okinawa.

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The US has reportedly lost six aircraft since the beginning of the year in non-combat training accidents, including several fatalities. "We would like to continue asking for their flight safety".

The latest crash occurred before any of them has been resolved, he said, adding that no advanced country other than Japan would tolerate such a situation. "If that happens, we can not fulfill our responsibilities to our children and grandchildren".

"The aircraft just happened to drop into the sea today", said Kadena Mayor Hiroshi Toyama.

No damage has been confirmed to ships operating in the sea near the crash site.

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F-15 fighters have also crashed off Okinawa Prefecture in May 2013, January 2006 and August 2002.

A series of crimes including rapes, assaults and hit-and-run and drink-driving accidents by U.S. personnel have also triggered protests on Okinawa, and are a frequent irritant in relations between close security allies Japan and the United States.

Kadena resident Yoshihiro Fukuchi, 57, fears a plane might come down over a school, putting the lives of children in danger.

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