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U.S. F-15 fighter crashes off Okinawa

Jiji PressNAHA (Jiji Press) — A U.S. F-15 fighter jet crashed off Okinawa Prefecture on Monday morning.

The aircraft, based in the U.S. military’s Kadena Air Base on the prefecture’s main island, crashed into the sea about 80 kilometers south of Naha at about 6:25 a.m.

The pilot ejected from the single-seat aircraft and was rescued by the Air Self-Defense Force, according to the Defense Ministry. The pilot is not in a life-threatening condition.

The Okinawa government asked the U.S. forces in Japan to halt flights of all F-15 jets in the prefecture until their safety is confirmed.

The pilot, found at sea around 7:25 a.m., was sent to the U.S. Marine Corps’ Camp Foster, also known as Camp Zukeran, in the prefecture.

The fighter jet crashed during flight training with six other aircraft. The ministry is collecting further information.

“We’ve asked the U.S. side to provide information, strengthen safety control and take preventive measures,” Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters Monday morning.

Speaking to reporters at the prefectural government office, Governor Takeshi Onaga said that the U.S. military has had a series of aircraft troubles and accidents.

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.

F-15 fighter jets belonging to the Kadena base crashed off Okinawa during training in 2006 and 2013. According to the prefectural government, the latest accident was the 10th F-15 crash in Okinawa since the deployment of the aircraft began in 1979.Speech

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