A U.S. Air Force F-35A fighter jet made what appeared to be an emergency landing at a base in Okinawa on Wednesday, only about a week after the U.S. military made its first-ever deployment of the stealth aircraft in the Asia-Pacific region at the base.
The U.S. Air Force said the jet made a "precautionary landing" at the U.S. Kadena Air Base. But the Kadena Municipal Government said it was an "emergency landing," citing an observation by one of its officials who saw two fire trucks on standby on either side of the runway when the landing was made.
After decades of hosting the bulk of U.S. military facilities in Japan, many people in Okinawa are frustrated with noise, crime and accidents linked to the U.S. bases. Recently, safety concerns have been rekindled over a series of accidents involving U.S. Marine Corps Osprey aircraft and a transport helicopter stationed in Okinawa.