The U.S. military has told the Ministry of Defense (MOD) that “the [recent USAF F-16 engine] fire was due to a problem unique to that particular plane,” the Yomiuri learned from the MOD. On Feb. 20, a USAF F-16 fighter deployed at Misawa Air Base (Misawa City, Aomori Prefecture) jettisoned two fuel tanks into nearby Lake Ogawara following an engine fire shortly after takeoff from Misawa. The Lake Ogawara fisheries association harvests corbicula clams from the lake [at this time of year] and is poised to seek compensation from the MOD for losses resulting from the fishing ban [imposed as a result of the jettisoning of the tanks].
According to the MOD, the U.S. military said that there was no structural defect in the aircraft body. In fact, the U.S. military recommenced flights of that aircraft model the same day the accident occurred. No concrete comment was made, however, on the cause of the fire. The MOD continues to ask [the U.S. military] to determine the cause of the accident as soon as possible. On Feb. 21, the fisheries association held a meeting of its members and discussed how to respond to the incident. They agreed that they will join hands with the local governments to seek compensation for losses incurred due to the ban.