Defense Ministry: F-35A Had 2 Emergency Landings
(Source: NHK Broadcasting Corp.; posted April 11, 2019)
Japan's Defense Ministry says an F-35A fighter jet that crashed into the sea off northern Japan on Tuesday had made two emergency landings in the last two years.

State Minister of Defense Kenji Harada was speaking at a Lower House committee meeting on Thursday.

The minister referred to a test flight by US manufacturer Lockheed Martin in June, 2017, before Japan deployed the aircraft. He said the flight was aborted after a cooling system alert.

The minister said the manufacturer found faults in the system and replaced the defective parts before delivering the jet to the defense ministry.

A ministry official also said at the committee meeting that while the same aircraft was flying in bad weather last August, there was a malfunction in the position indicator.

The Defense Ministry says the defective parts were replaced.

The Air Self-Defense Force began deploying F35A jets at its Misawa base in Aomori Prefecture, northern Japan, in January last year.

The ministry official told NHK that it's not known whether the two incidents were linked to Tuesday's crash.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Japan’s Ministry of Defense this morning identified the missing pilot of the F-35A fighter that crashed into the Pacific on April 9 as Maj. Akinori Hosomi, 41.


Top SDF Officer Apologizes for F-35A Crash
(Source: NHK Broadcasting Corp.; posted April 11, 2019)
The chief of Japan's Self-Defense Forces has apologized for the crash of an F-35A fighter jet off the coast of Aomori Prefecture.

The SDF Chief of Staff, Koji Yamazaki, made the apology at a news conference on Thursday.

The F-35A from the Air Self-Defense Force's Misawa base in the prefecture crashed on Tuesday evening. The ASDF says the missing pilot is a 41-year-old major, Akinori Hosomi, who belongs to the base.

Yamazaki said he was deeply sorry for causing concern to local communities and people across Japan. He said search and rescue operations will continue around the clock. But he stopped short of discussing how the accident may affect the plan to deploy more of the stealth jet fighters.

Yamazaki said the SDF intends to use the aircraft for scrambling and other operations after personnel have had sufficient training. He added that more thought will be given to the matter while the accident is investigated.

Yamazaki also said the SDF will keep a close watch on the movements of vessels from neighboring nations. He indicated that efforts are being made to protect information about the cutting-edge aircraft, which is also being introduced in the US and other countries.


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