US Forces Join Search for Disappeared Japanese Pilot

Thursday, April 11, 2019

File photo of F-35

Tokyo-(PanOrient News) U.S. forces in Japan said they were supporting search efforts after a pilot from the Japan Air Self Defense Force went missing yesterday.

Wreckage from the fighter jet was found today, which lost contact and crashed Tuesday evening while flying east of Misawa in northern Japan. However, the pilot is still missing and the reason for the crash remains unclear.

Concerns have been raised about the possibility of China or Russia finding the aircraft first. Some worry that U.S. military aircraft technology could be compromised for years to come if one of the powers were able to salvage the jet.

It was also reported that the pilot did not eject from the aircraft and that he was an experienced pilot who had logged about 3,200 flight hours.

The search efforts are being led by the Japanese Self Defense Force, which sent out ships and aircraft to look for the pilot last night and were joined by a maritime patrol aircraft from the U.S. Navy. Search flights continued Wednesday.

In a statement, the U.S. Forces Japan said they will continue to work closely with the Japan Self Defense Forces and the Japanese Ministry of Defense on the case.

“We continue to hope for the safe recovery of the pilot, and our thoughts are with his family and all our Japanese partners as they conduct this search,” said the statement.

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