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Japan recognizes crashed F-35 fighter’s pilot as dead

  • June 7, 2019
  • , Jiji Press , 2:21 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, June 7 (Jiji Press) — Japan’s Defense Ministry recognizes as dead the pilot of an F-35A fighter that crashed into the Pacific Ocean in April after a part of his body was found on the ocean floor, officials said Friday.

The 41-year-old pilot, Maj. Akinori Hosomi, went missing in the accident, which occurred when the state-of-the-art stealth jet was flying about 135 kilometers east of the Air Self-Defense Force’s Misawa base in Aomori Prefecture, northeastern Japan, on the night of April 9.

“It is extremely regrettable and heartbreaking,” Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya told a press conference Friday. “I feel genuine respect and offer prayers for him.”

The ministry scaled down the search for the crashed plane and the pilot Monday. It is working to identify the accident’s cause, with a view to resuming F-35A flights.

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