• Kyodo


The Defense Ministry’s Tohoku Defense Bureau has lodged a complaint with the commander of Misawa Air Base after video footage from a U.S. fighter jet flying at a very low altitude was uploaded to YouTube, officials said.

The U.S. military at the joint base in Aomori Prefecture confirmed that the 10 minutes of footage was taken by one of its F-16 fighter jets during flight training, and that the jet flew below the minimum allowed altitude at several locations, it said.

The Tohoku Defense Bureau said it urged the base’s commander on Friday to abide by Japanese aviation law, which prohibits flight below 150 meters in nonresidential areas.

The footage also showed the fighter flying over what appears to be a residential area.

The Misawa base houses both the U.S. military and the Self-Defense Forces.

On Feb. 20, a U.S. fighter developed an engine fire immediately after taking off from the base and dropped its two external fuel tanks into a nearby lake where fishing boats were operating.