USA military accidents are a sensitive topic in Japan, particularly for residents of the southern prefecture of Okinawa, which is home to the bulk of the US presence in the country.
Two US Marines aircraft have been involved in a "mishap" in the skies off the coast of Japan, leaving seven US military personnel missing, officials said on Wednesday.
Japanese aircraft were taking part in the search effort, according to the Marines.
The incident occurred after the planes took off from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Japan, Marine Corps officials said in a statement.
Japanese rescuers said he was in a stable condition and are continuing to search the waters for the other six servicemen about 60 miles south of the Muroto Cape on Shikoku island. Very few details have been made public in the initial Corps news release.
Marine Planes Crash Off Japan Coast, Search and Rescue Underway
Both planes are usually based at a U.S. site in Iwakuni, west of Hiroshima, where numerous 50,000 American troops stationed in Japan also stay.
The KC-130 also can be used to transport ground troops. Naval Institute (USNI), at least one person has been rescued so far in what it called a collision between a KC-130J tanker and an F/A-18D fighter jet.
Anonymous US officials said they were unsure how the mishap may have occurred, but none suspected foul play.
The BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Tokyo says that air-to-air refuelling is a hard and potentially unsafe flight operation, especially when done at night.
The circumstances of the mishap are now under investigation, the military added.
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