Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said Thursday the Air Self-Defense Force would resume training flights using F-35A fighters later that day, ending their suspension following the crash of an F-35A in April.
Iwaya said the training could resume because the ASDF has conducted safety checks on the aircraft and provided pilots with retraining programs. The minister also cited that the municipal government of Misawa, Aomori Prefecture — the location of the Misawa base that the crashed jet belonged to — has consented to the resumption.
However, nighttime training flights will not be conducted for the time being, Iwaya said.
“We’ve taken all possible measures to ensure the safety of flights [by F-35As],” the minister said at a press conference.
The F-35A crashed into the waters off Aomori Prefecture in April during a nighttime training flight, killing the pilot. The ASDF said in June that the pilot had likely fallen into a state of spatial disorientation, or loss of situational awareness, at the time of the crash.