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Identity of missing Japanese F-35A fighter pilot announced

TOKYO -- The Ministry of Defense has identified the pilot of the Japanese F-35A stealth fighter that crashed into the Pacific off the coast of northeast Japan on April 9 as Maj. Akinori Hosomi, 41.

The ministry continued to search for the fighter and its pilot on April 11 alongside the Japan Coast Guard and U.S. forces, but failed to find them.

Gen. Koji Yamazaki, chief of the Joint Staff of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, apologized for the crash at an April 11 news conference. The incident has sparked concern in the United States that Russian and Chinese forces could obtain parts of the wreckage and use them to collect information on the U.S.-made stealth fighter, which was assembled in Japan. Yamazaki played down those fears, stating that Japanese forces are continuing to monitor the area thoroughly.

(Japanese original by Hiroshi Maetani, City News Department)

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