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AFP
April 10, 2019

Japan’s F-35 fighter disappears

World

AFP
April 10, 2019

A Japanese F-35A stealth fighter jet with one pilot on board disappeared off the radar while on a training mission over the Pacific late on Tuesday, the defence ministry said.

The fighter jet went missing around 7:30 pm (1030 GMT) as it was flying some 135 kilometres east of Misawa, northeastern Japan, a ministry spokeswoman said. The plane lost contact about 30 minutes after taking off from Misawa Air Base with three other aircraft.

It was not immediately clear if the aircraft had crashed, Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya told reporters. "First we are trying our best to carry out search and rescue operations," Iwaya said.

"And then we will do our best to probe the cause," he said, adding that Japan’s 12 remaining F-35A fighters will be grounded for the time being. The fate of the pilot was also unclear, a ministry spokesman said.

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