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A U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jet crashed Monday into the Sea of Japan off Aomori Prefecture, and the pilot was rescued safely, Aomori prefectural officials said.

It is not clear how many crew members were on board, but generally F-16s are single-seat fighters.

The pilot, whose name and rank were not provided, ejected and was rescued at sea after the fighter crashed 200 to 300 meters off the town of Fukaura, the officials said.

The crash took place at the site of a fixed fishnet off the Senjojiki coast, a Fukaura tourist spot, they said.

The Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry said the aircraft crashed after reporting engine trouble around 11:30 a.m. to the Air Self-Defense Force base in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture. The U.S. military also uses the base.

The pilot was transported via a Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter back to the base, and is not hurt.

Ten local fishing vessels are engaged in cleaning up fuel that spilled into the sea as a result of the crash, they said.

Last April, a U.S. F-16 fighter from the Misawa base crashed into the Pacific near the base.

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