Tokyo: Search and rescue operations are at the moment in progress to set six US marines who have been missing after two military aircraft crashed in the air during restocking exercise off Japan. The Japanese Defence Minister was cited by news agency AFP. It reported that one of the servicemen have been rescued.
"US military and the Japanese Self-Defense planes and vessels are searching for those still missing... I hope all the members will be rescued safely as soon as possible," Takeshi Iwaya stated reporters and was quoted as saying by news agency AFP.
Reports suggested that, the aircraft were on a scheduled training and the crash took place at about 2 am on Thursday.
Takeshi Iwaya stated that the F/A-18 fighter jet and the KC-130 tanker- with two and five crew respectively crashed into the sea, around 100 km off the cape of Muroto in south-western Japan. Probs are underway to settle on what could have led to the crash.
"We are thankful for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's efforts as they immediately responded in the search and rescue operation," the Marines were quoted as asserting by AFP.
It is noted that there are over 50,000 US troops deployed in Japan and in November 2017, a Greyhound aircraft went down in the Philippine Sea with 11 people onboard. While eight were saved, the search was cancelled after the remaining three could not be located for two days.