The coast guard deployed patrol boats and aircraft to the site and has found a person and debris in the ocean where a US military Osprey aircraft carrying eight people crashed Wednesday off southern Japan, officials said.
"We received information at 2:47 pm (0547 GMT) today that the US military's Osprey crashed off Yakushima Island," the coastguard spokeswoman told. "We were also notified that there were eight crew members on board," she added. "There is no further information at the moment."
Yakushima Island is situated south of Kyushu, Japan's southernmost main island. This crash follows a previous Osprey accident in northern Australia back in August, where three US marines lost their lives among the 23 individuals on board.
The previous incident occurred during a military exercise on Melville Island, north of Darwin, involving locally stationed troops.
In December 2016, yet another Osprey had crash-landed in the ocean near Japan's southern island of Okinawa, leading to a temporary grounding of these aircraft by the US military.
The tilt-rotor aircraft, capable of flying as both a helicopter and a fixed-wing plane, is utilized by the US Marines, US Navy, and the Japan Self Defense Forces.The presence of Osprey aircraft in Japan has sparked controversy, with critics citing its accident-prone nature. Despite concerns raised by critics, both the US military and Japan maintain that the aircraft is safe.
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