One of the first 13 F-35A stealth jet fighters deployed in Japan crashed into the sea off Aomori Prefecture on Tuesday evening, leaving the pilot missing, the defense ministry said Wednesday.

According to Air Self-Defense Force officers in Tokyo, the incident is the first crash involving an F-35A fighter anywhere in the world.

A section of the missing fighter's tail was found and retrieved from the sea late Tuesday night about 135 kilometers off the coast from the Air Self-Defense Force's Misawa Air Base in Aomori, a ministry official said.