U.S. Fighter Jettisons Fuel Tank in Okinawa


Tokyo, May 31 (Jiji Press)--A U.S. fighter jet jettisoned a fuel tank into the sea before it landed at the Kadena base in the southernmost Japan prefecture of Okinawa on Sunday, Japanese Defense Ministry officials said Tuesday.

The fuel tank was discovered by a local resident on the coast of the Okinawa village of Higashi on Monday. Following a report on the tank from the village, the ministry confirmed it with the U.S. side.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said the fuel tank was dropped for safety reasons. "We were told that (the U.S. side) will make efforts to collect the tank safely," he added.

The five-meter-long tank, when it was found, had no major damage while smelling like gasoline, according to sources.

The FA-18 fighter is based on the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which belongs to the U.S. Navy's Carrier Air Wing Five.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press