A U.S. military F15 fighter jet crashed in waters off Japan’s southern island of Okinawa, where the bulk of U.S. forces in Japan are based, during a routine training mission on Monday, U.S. Forces Japan said in a statement.
The pilot, the only person in the aircraft, ejected successfully and was recovered by search and rescue crews, the statement said. A board of officers would investigate the incident, it said.
Many residents of Okinawa associate the U.S. military bases with crime, accidents and pollution and want them moved off the island. A series of emergency landings and parts falling from U.S. military aircraft have highlighted safety concerns.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government is moving ahead with a contentious plan to relocate the U.S. Marines’ Futenma airbase from an urban area in central Okinawa to the less populated Henoko district of Nago city in the island’s north.