Search, rescue underway for two Marine Corps aircraft

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The FA-18 and the KC-130 from the Iwakuni base were conducting routine training when they collided some 100 kilometers south of Cape Muroto in Kochi Prefecture at around 1:40 a.m., according to the ministry.

Japanese search and rescue aircraft have responded to the incident.

Two U.S. Marine aircraft apparently crashed early Thursday, leaving six service members missing after one was rescued off the coast of southern Japan as search and rescue operations continued.

Officials who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity were unsure precisely how the mishap occurred but none suspected foul play.

"The incident is regrettable, but our focus at the moment is on search and rescue", he said.

The Marines refuel aircraft differently to the Air Force, said Carl Baker, executive director of the Pacific Forum think tank in Hawaii.

More news: Emery: Smith Rowe an example to Arsenal's youngsters

It was unclear if USA military officials were also assisting with the search.

Japanese officials said two crew members were on the FA-18, and five others on the KC-130.

The military did not release the circumstances of the crash, saying the accident was still under investigation.

In November, a USA navy fighter jet crashed into the sea off Japan's southern island of Okinawa and its 2 crew members were rescued alive.

In mid-October, a MH-60 Seahawk also belonging to the Ronald Reagan crashed off the Philippine Sea shortly after takeoff, causing non-fatal injuries to a dozen sailors.

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