TOKYO --- Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said Friday his ministry will investigate any possible links between the recent crash of a Japanese F-35A fighter jet and two emergency landings it previously undertook.
Iwaya also said at a press conference that Japan will ask the United States to cooperate in a probe into the cause of the accident in which the advanced stealth jet, produced by U.S. defense firm Lockheed Martin Corp., crashed into the Pacific during an exercise on Tuesday.
The Air Self-Defense Force aircraft made an emergency landing in June 2017 after an alarm warned of a problem with the cooling system. It made a second such landing in August last year following another malfunction, according to the ministry.
As search operations continued for the missing pilot, 41-year-old major Akinori Hosomi, and the wreckage of the plane, the Maritime Self-Defense Force dispatched a submarine rescue ship, Iwaya said. (end of excerpt)
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