National

U.S. ends its search for F-35A stealth fighter that crashed off Aomori, but Japan to keep looking

AP

The U.S. Navy has terminated its search for a Japanese F-35A stealth fighter that crashed off Japan’s coast last month.

The pilot is still missing, and Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said Japan would continue its search.

The U.S. Navy said in the statement Thursday it was withdrawing after its salvage vehicle, CURV 21, found unidentified debris from the aircraft.

The Air Self-Defense Force F-35A crashed in the Pacific off the eastern coast of Aomori Prefecture during a night training flight April 9.

The two allies have scrambled to locate the stealth aircraft filled with military secrets.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Japan plans to buy 147 of the expensive F-35 fighters amid potential North Korea and China threats, and 105 of them are expected to be the F-35As.