Japan, U.S. to Continue Cooperation over F-35A Crash


Washington, April 19 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya and Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan agreed Friday that the two countries will continue working together in the search for the F-35A state-of-the-art stealth fighter that crashed off Japan earlier this month and in the probe on the cause of the accident.

At their meeting held at the U.S. Defense Department, Iwaya thanked for the cooperation the U.S. side has offered in the search and rescue operations after the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force fighter jet crashed off Aomori Prefecture, northeastern Japan, on April 9.

Referring to concern in Japan about plans by the Japanese Defense Ministry to procure more F-35A fighters, Iwaya stressed the ministry's resolve to determine the cause of the crash and sought continued cooperation from the United States. Shanahan vowed to firmly cooperate with Japan.

After the meeting, Iwaya told reporters that the U.S. side has offered to send an undersea search vessel to the area where the F-35A crashed. He also emphasized that there is no change in Japan's F-35A procurement plan.

Iwaya protested over an incident earlier this month in which a U.S. Navy serviceman stabbed a Japanese woman to death and killed himself soon after in the town of Chatan in the southernmost Japan prefecture of Okinawa. He urged the U.S. side to take measures to prevent a similar incident from happening again.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press