U.S. F-16 Fighter Operations Continue in Japan amid Concerns

Society

Tokyo, Dec. 8 (Jiji Press)--The U.S. military continues to operate F-16 fighter jets based in its Misawa Air Base amid lingering safety concerns after only a short break following a dangerous incident in northeastern Japan.

On Nov. 30, the F-16 jet belonging to the Misawa base in Aomori Prefecture dropped two fuel tanks before making an emergency landing at Aomori Airport. One of the tanks was found near a local municipal office, and the other in a mountain area.

The U.S. military started flying F-16 fighters again without disclosing the direct cause of the incident or details of preventive measures. The fighters may fly to the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, the Tokyo metropolitan area in eastern Japan and the southwestern region of Kyushu.

"According to an explanation from the U.S. side, the pilot in a test flight judged that it was impossible to continue flying because there was a warning that the oil pressure of the engine kept dropping," Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi told a press conference Tuesday.

The United States said there were "a time constraint and an imminent danger," Kishi added.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press