national

U.S F-15 fighter jet crashes into sea off Okinawa; pilot rescued

61 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Thomson Reuters 2018.

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

61 Comments
Login to comment

Great that the pilot was rescued. Free beers for him at the bar tonight.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

new Henoko base is the better option , all takeoff and landings will be over water, and before people start bashing the US accidents let not forget the last two helicopter crashes in Japan were Japanese owned and the parts falling from planes were JAL owned.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

Sorry, I don't think the US Military in Japan needs any more alcohol. It's gotten them enough bad press over the years.

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

Rather biased reporting!

How does an article on plane malfunction end up concluding that many Japanese associate the US Army with crime?

Sounds like I should associate Reuters with loaded statements.

1 ( +13 / -12 )

Free beers for him at the bar tonight.

So no pilot error then? that was quick.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Go away and stop polluting our water with your flying ( or rather hardly flying ) garbage.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

5 downvotes. Thanks. Am I wrong about the US Military in Japan and alcohol = bad press? It's been pretty well documented on tv and in print. How many alcohol blackouts have been announced in the last 1-2 years? Many. Not taking anything away from this particular pilot, and obviously thankful he's ok.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

"A series of emergency Landings and Parts falling from US military aircraft have highlighted safety concerns" but when it's Japanese aircraft and parts not a peep go figure

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Wow; I thought it may have happened right off Sunabe Sea Wall.

That would have been INSANE to see.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Alex Einz I don't think you appreciate living in a country where you have the freedom to say what you say without fear of being arrested or killed because of the U.S. military playing a big role in preserving that freedom.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

wtfjapanToday 10:33 am JST

new Henoko base is the better option , all takeoff and landings will be over water

As Henoko is/was suppose to replace Futenma wich is a USMCAS I always assumed Henoko would only serve USMC. The F-15 is USAF I presume out of Kadena.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Those airframes are getting old. Maintenance on those planes that perform under a lot of stress must be much harder than passenger airliners of the same age. I wonder if aircraft age had anything to do with this incident.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The USAF F-15 pilot ejected resulting in a broken leg, He was rescued by a JASDF chopper.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

at this rate the north koreans won't have to do much. the navy's sinking its own ships. the air force is crashing its planes. kim jong-un need only sit back and wait for the us military to crumble under its own weight.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

The pilot should buy beers for the rescue crew. Bravo Zulu on a job well done!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Follow the example of your COWARD COMMANDER : CRASH AND BURN SUCKER.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

According to a local newspaper, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera lodged a formal protestation with the U.S. military through Naha Defense Bureau and urged them to take the utmost safety measures not to repeat a similar accident.

Sounds like a deja-vu scenario. He must have a recorded tape on his desk which he runs every time such accidents occur.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

voiceofokinawa.. makes sense to prep one... yankees keep crashing way tooo often.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Some on here need to have a more positive attitude me thinks.

Sorry, I don't think the US Military in Japan needs any more alcohol. It's gotten them enough bad press over the years.

Yeah...punish the majority for the sins of the few. Never works, causes bullying and great resentment in the services. I know.

So no pilot error then? that was quick.

I never said that. In the meantime,the guy survived. deserves a cool one don't ya think?

And then we have YuriOtani with a good point.

The pilot should buy beers for the rescue crew. Bravo Zulu on a job well done!

Splendid idea!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

How does an article on plane malfunction end up concluding that many Japanese associate the US Army with crime? yes its unfortunate when police statistics show Okinawans commit more crime per capita than the marines do in Okinawa.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

According to a local newspaper, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera lodged a formal protestation with the U.S. military through Naha Defense Bureau and urged them to take the utmost safety measures not to repeat a similar accident.

This mishap didn't happen in Japanese territorial waters so it's really not any of Onodera's business as the DM.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

80 km south of Naha is not Japanese territorial waters, USNinJapan2?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If the Americans weren't here, I wonder what Japan would be like...

A Nationalistic Leader worshiping threat once again to the rest of Asia ?

There's a lot of vocal folks around who would lead me to think that this isn't so far off the mark.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

nandakandamanda

80 km south of Naha is not Japanese territorial waters, USNinJapan2?

80 km south of Naha would be roughly 60 km south of the southernmost point of Okinawa and outside even the contigous zone which extends 12 NM beyond the 12 NM territorial seas. This crash happened in open international waters.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

That's probably about 100 million dollars into the ocean. I am glad the pilot basically got out safely. But, I hope that isn't coming out of his paycheck this month.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

80km from Naha? The plane might as well have crashed over the Andes. Nothing to see here, folks.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

USNinJapan2, the F15C took off from Okinawa so it makes it Onodera's business.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

YuriOtani

The Minister of Defense has absolutely zero authority or jurisidiction over any U.S. Forces Japan assets deployed to Japan or what they do in international territory/waters. If anyone could conceivably lodge a complaint here it would either be the Minister of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) or the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) but even with them the mishap occured beyond their respective jurisdictions. The only business Onodera has in this incident is that the JASDF SAR team that rescured the downed pilot belongs to him. The fact that this Eagle departed Okinawa before crashing is incidental.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

USNinJapan2, the fact that this doomed aircraft flew over Okinawa on its way to the crash site is important. Since Trump became president, I would like to see all US bases closed.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"I would like to see all US bases closed" and you're calling him arrogant? If all US bases close, it would be a major blow to Japan's economy and its security.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I dont understand Japanese like Yuri Otani who are anti-USA military bases in Japan. These men dedicate their life 24-7 to protecting Japanese lives. They give up their life to do this some times. They share a love of Freedom.

Japan and USA are and will remain the closest two nations can be, in one if the most dangerous hotspots in the world - Okinawa. I salute this pilot and all USA and Japanese Military forces working together for Peace.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I am glad the pilot is ok.

Now, send him home and then send the rest of the military home.

The mission has long since expired.

Those who claim Japan will be at mercy from rogue nations and/or the economy will suffer are apologists for this modern day colonialism.

Throw off the shackles, get help for the Stockholm syndrome. Be free, once more.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Toasted Heretic

Thankfully some humans see the folly in random statements. Colonialism is one thing and the Japan US relationship another altogether (albeit one that needs to evolve with the times).

Perhaps you are confusing your own nations colonialism with here?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This incident just ads fodder to the pesky protesters in Okinawa who want the US army out. These things happen, glad he was found well and good. Now cue the Okinawans screaming blue murder!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Perhaps you are confusing your own nations colonialism with here?

I don't believe in giving away personal info online. It leads to the occasional problem of obsessive fixations with angry posters.

Which is why you don't know what my nation is/was/will be. The Japan/US relationship is full of promise and heavy on threats (what might happen without them) and abuse (assaults, deaths etc).

Japan doesn't need the US. It can stand proud, without the military presence. It doesn't need any nationalism, eastern or western.

And just in case anybody is confused, I'm not conflating the presence of a foreign military here with the presence of ordinary, decent American folk who I also consider to be my friends, brothers and sisters.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

USNinJapan2.

To be sure, the crash site of the F-15 aircraft is far beyond Japan's territorial waters. But the aircraft is based at Kadena and took off from there for regular training purposes. It could have crashed on a residential area just like an F-100D jet fighter crashed on Miyamori Elementary School in Ishikawa City (now part of Uruma City) in 1959.. 

Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga accuses Onodera for the lack of his sense of responsibility on the accident.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Toasted

I don’t need to know about your nationality, obviously you know what I meant.

Now as for your Colonial/America/Liberation theory, I got a few keywords for you.

WWI

WWII

Cold War

Its easy to conclude at this time that Japan needs to do whatever, but you should also remember how hardcore Japan was. Japan would have been conquered by Russia and not have become a democracy.

My country has benefited and suffered by the US being here, and its not as simple as you say.

You say Japan doesn’t need nationalism? I say their only alternative to nationalism was shown to them by the US and I appreciate it. Prior to that we may have been the most nationalist nation on earth.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I don’t need to know about your nationality, obviously you know what I meant.

Not really. I don't come from a country that practiced colonialism or imperialism.

I say their only alternative to nationalism was shown to them by the US and I appreciate it. Prior to that we may have been the most nationalist nation on earth.

I say - the black ships, Matthew Perry et al.

You can exist as a free country without the trappings of US occupation and/or homegrown nationalism. Otherwise you're basically implying that Japan cannot go forward without another country dictating to it.

Is Japan so weak that it needs to be chaperoned by the US?

I think not.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Toasted

I didnt say Japan was weak or imply any of the questions that you just asked and then answered yourself.

Asia is a pretty volatile place right now with many odd partnerships. Yes, I dont think Japan should “shake off colonialism” next week as we still haven’t done a lot of things and addressed many things that we should as a nation, before we go back to being a 100% sovereign nation.

What if your idea leads to war in a couple months? Good to know you won’t be voting.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yes, I dont think Japan should “shake off colonialism” next week as we still haven’t done a lot of things and addressed many things that we should as a nation, before we go back to being a 100% sovereign nation.

Clearly some people here are still suffering from the Stockholm syndrome I mentioned. They will dismiss and justify the US presence. They'll even make excuses for their captors. That's what 70 years of subtle and not so subtle abuse does and they have my utmost sympathy. But sooner or later, they will be free. And the miltitary occupiers can go home to their families. A win-win situation.

America managed to survive post-British occupation. There is always a precedent.

What if your idea leads to war in a couple months? Good to know you won’t be voting

And good to know that not all Japanese are unable to separate from the Uncle Sam umbilical.

My country was also threatened with all manner of dire forecasts before we broke free. And we're doing just fine.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Obviously you have thought through the entire US-Japan alliance for us then? You’ve classifed all of us with your stockholm syndrome theory? Thats some classification man!

Sure yeah, if I mention that things need to be thought through, an umbellical cord to uncle sam is your analogy?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If all US bases close, it would be a major blow to Japan's economy and its security.

A blow to Japan's security definitely but economically mwah :)

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

voiceofokinawa

When Onodera spoke he had no idea what caused this crash. The cause could have been something that was absolutely unpreventable, like a bird strike or weather. The cause of the crash and other contributing factors won't be known for weeks to come, so for the Defense Minister to immediately comment as he did was premature, irresponsible, and again, quite out of his lane. The safe operation of USFJ assets in Japan is NOT his responsibility.

It could have crashed on a residential area just like an F-100D jet fighter crashed on Miyamori Elementary School in Ishikawa City (now part of Uruma City) in 1959.. 

Sure, an infinite number of things could have happened. Funny though how Onodera's comments after the JGSDF Apache crash obliterated a family home in Saga earlier this year causing two deaths and injuries were more carefully issued and nowhere near as hasty or demanding.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

USNinJapan2 ... it doesnt matter who or why caused it, fact is you are an unwelcome invaders so please stop occupying this country and leave.

Regardless how many crashed JSDF had, your pilots and sailors should not crash,rape,kill or get drunk in Japan.They should be totally be confined to your base, and crash there too.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

USNinJapan2,

A spate of U.S. military aircraft's crashes and emergency landings, especially those involving Kadena/Futenma-based aircraft, are trully grave concerns to us. 

Since these aircraft are deployed here under a putative bilateral agreement, the Japanese government must take responsibility for any such accidents, let alone the U.S. government. 

The highest ranking official directly charged with military matters in the Japanese government is a Defense Minister and so Onodera must be accused first of all for this state of affairs.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Nah, it was just hunting for Chinese submarines.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

voiceofokinawa

The highest ranking official directly charged with military matters in the Japanese government is a Defense Minister and so Onodera must be accused first of all for this state of affairs.

You are evidently unaware that MOFA, and not MOD (and its minister), is solely responsible for any and all matters concerning U.S. Forces Japan. I do not disagree that the GOJ should comment (carefully) on this crash in the interest of public safety. However, that spokesperson should be the Minister of Foreign Affairs, not the Defense Minister. On this point you are categorically wrong.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Alex Einz

USNinJapan2 ... it doesnt matter who or why caused it, fact is you are an unwelcome invaders so please stop occupying this country and leave.

That's some hyperbole there Alex. Are you speaking on behalf of the Japanese government and its people? Because the last time I checked we're here under a mutually beneficial bilateral treaty, again according to the government here and the majority of its citizens (of which I suspect you're not an example...).

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

USN is correct. It's legally outside Onodera's jurisdiction. But he has to do it for political reasons.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

USNinJapan2,

You are evidently unaware that MOFA, and not MOD (and its minister), is solely responsible for any and all matters concerning U.S. Forces Japan.

Are you really sure of what you say? A Japanese government agency directly responsible for U.S. bases used to be the Defense Facilities Administration Agency. that was created in 1947 to facilitate smooth operations of U.S. bases in Japan. That office is now subsumed under the Ministry of Defense and so exists no more. But tits function has been taken over by the MOD or, more concretely, by local Defense Bureaus of MOD (in the case of Okinawa, Okinawa Defense Bureau).

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

voiceofokinawa

The job of the DFBs is to advocate for the SDF and U.S. Forces with local communities to enable us to operate and train as needed to fulfill our dfense obligations. As the head of MOD the DM would certainly be concerned with our aviation mishaps because they make the job of his DFBs harder. However, it is not his place to make demands of USFJ assets and how they operate. That is the domain of the U.S.-Japan Committee which is comprised of U.S. Forces Japan and MOFA, not MOD. This is why although its understandable for the DM to immediately admonish us publically, it is merely for show for people who don't understand where bilateral engagements between the U.S. military and the GOJ are actually conducted. Again, for all the DM knew at the time he spoke, the F15 may have crashed because of a birdstrike. Now wouldnt' that make any demands from him for us to "be safer" a little silly and premature? In this case, it's tantamount to if you drove off of your gated community and had an accident down the road somewhere and your housing association sees it on the news and rebuked you publically without possibly knowing the circumstances of the accident, demanding that you be a safer driver. Even if you had a history of fender benders while inside the gated property, in this instance they simply wouldn't have any authority. As for being sure, I work with both ministries on a daily basis on issues pertaining to U.S. Forces, so yes I am.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

To be sure, the crash site of the F-15 aircraft is far beyond Japan's territorial waters.

You need to take a look at a map!

The accident occurred at around 6:40 a.m. about 80 kilometers south of Naha,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Another one bites the dust.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yubaru

80 km south of Naha is about 11 NM outside of Japanese territorial waters (12 NM) plus Contiguous Zone (12 NM).

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Obviously this article was designed to get off the actual incident to invite discussion on Okinawa and the US military presence in Japan.

Ever thought of why it was written the way it was?

It relates an incident to other distantly related controversial topics that invites emotional and political issues that actually distracts from the facts of the accident.

Every thought about how, why, when, where, what and who questions about actual accident or its causes?

Ever thought about who is hurt or damaged and who is benefiting from this accident?

Ever put all of this in a larger perspective outside of the controversial and well discussed issues?

Funny how both USA and Japanese aircraft, especially military aircraft in Japan seem to have increased accident rates recently?

Funny how both US and Japanese planes are targeted for their maintenance and old age.

Interesting that China and Russia are modernizing and increasing their aircraft and warships while the world is concentrating on NK missiles and nuclear capability and the current summit.

Interesting that Trump and Abe both asked to increase military spending for hardware and for improving national infrastructure.

Well..?

How will you put all that together and relate to this accident?

Given the world in conflict today, sabotage or by design, these accidents start to "smell".

From mechanics to procured parts to pilot, difficult to determine the cause till the facts are in. Till that time, it is just opinion.

However, we do know that nothing that man makes and uses gets damaged or fail without a "cause". Other than by natural causes such as weather, lightning, tornado, etc. nothing happens, especially accidents by some random "chance".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

*So no pilot error then? that was quick. *I never said that. In the meantime, the guy survived. deserves a cool one don't ya think?

If that logic applied to all accidents yes. When was the last time a bloke got a cold one after smashing into a parked bus or stationary wall?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

USNinJapan2,

you say:

I work with both ministries on a daily basis on issues pertaining to U.S. Forces

I assume you are a U.S. naval officer and either a member on the Japan-U.S. Committee or a member of the Committee's working group. It's often pointed out why the U.S. side delegates active service members to that Committee mostly while the Japanese side sends civilian officials from various governmental departments. 

That's a strange international committee composed of heterogeneous groups.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The plane crashed in the ocean 50 miles from land. Might as well send a letter to Cuba to be more careful flying their airliners too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Addendum:

In case no poster here knew anything about what the Japan-U.S. Committee is, I would add that it is a body for implementing the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and the concomitant Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).

I've been arguing that the relevant Security Treaty is a mechanism to carry over the post-World War Two regime, thus keeping bases intact even after Japan's recovery of sovereignty. 

The fact that the Japan-U.S. Committee is dominated by U.S. Forces, as USNinJapan2 betrays, clearly attests to this.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The fact that the Japanese counterparts to the US military personnel on the committtee are civilians means nothing. That is Japan's choice to staff it with civilians, you are really reaching for anything to back up your ridiculous claims.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

extanker;

I hear the U.S. State Department also wants the U.S. delegates to the said committee on a par with Japanese counterparts. 

The Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is putatively a nation-to-nation treaty, not a battle ground agreement between warring armies.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites