With regards to the incident involving the U.S. Misawa Air Base-deployed F-16 fighter jettisoning two fuel tanks into Lake Ogawara, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera revealed on Feb. 21 that the government will consider paying compensation to local fishermen. At the Ministry of Defense, he told reporters that “we will swiftly conduct a survey of the damage and make compensation in a sincere manner.”
Prior to this, Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai, Komeito Party Secretary-General Yoshihisa Inoue and several others met and agreed that the government needs to compensate the local fishermen. The Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between Japan and the U.S. stipulates that the two countries are liable for paying compensation if the U.S. military causes damage to a third person.
The MOD dispatched Self-Defense Forces personnel to the accident site on the same day for the removal of oil on the lake and the retrieval of fuel tank parts.