Nov 29, 2023 - Politics & Policy

At least one dead after U.S. military aircraft crashes off coast of Japan

US soldiers walk past a parked CV-22 Osprey at Subic Bay Freeport Zone on April 23,

U.S. soldiers walk past a parked CV-22 Osprey at Subic Bay Freeport Zone on April 23. Photo: Jam Sta Rosa/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. military Osprey aircraft crashed on Wednesday off the coast of Japan's southern Yakushima island, killing at least one person who was aboard, multiple outlets reported.

Driving the news: The aircraft was carrying eight passengers. The status of the others aboard it at the time of the incident is not yet known, per AP.

  • It is not yet clear what caused the crash.
  • The Japanese Coast Guard and the Pentagon did not immediately respond on Thursday to Axios' request for information on the incident.

Details: The local coast guard was alerted to the crash after receiving an emergency call from a nearby fishing boat, CBS News reported.

  • The coast guard deployed patrol vessels and aircraft to the scene, where rescuers found "wreckage-like debris" and an overturned life raft with no people, per NBC News.
  • Japan's vice defense minister Hiroyuki Miyazawa told local media that the aircraft that crashed was a CV-22 Osprey from the U.S. Air Force Yokota Air Base, per NBC News.

Of note: There have been a number of fatal crashes involving Osprey military aircraft in recent years.

  • In August, three U.S. marines died after an Osprey carrying 23 people crashed in Australia during a routine exercise.
  • Last year, five marines died after an Osprey crashed during a training mission in California.
  • In March 2022, four U.S. service members were killed in an Osprey crash in Norway during a NATO training exercise.

Editor's note: This story was updated to reflect the Japanese Coast Guard did not respond to a request for information, as well as the revised number of passengers aboard the aircraft.

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