A US fighter jet was forced to discharge two tanks of fuel into a lake in northern Japan after its engine caught fire on Tuesday, local media reported.
After dumping the fuel tanks into the lake of Ogawara, the jet returned to the base, the Kyodo news agency reported, providing no information on possible victims.
"I believe it dumped (the tanks) for safety reasons". The Misawa Defense Office said no injuries or damage have yet been confirmed in the wake of the incident, according to local media reports.
In a statement, the USA military confirmed that one of its F-16s had been forced to "jettison two external fuel tanks into an unpopulated area" after an engine fire broke out.
Yamada said that the tanks were jettisoned in an area where the water depth was about 10 meters. The local fisheries association reported the incident to the municipal government at around 8:50 a.m.
Col. Scott Jobe, 35th Fighter Wing commander, said there will be a "thorough investigation to determine the root cause of this incident".
Meanwhile, Japan defence ministry has sought an explanation from the USA military for the incident.
Onodera said he will hear explanations from the United States military about why the incident happened and he will request measures to prevent recurrences.
While the incident caused no injuries, it has prompted anger from Japanese officials and renewed criticism of U.S. military presence in the country.
The southern island of Okinawa also recently witnessed series of incidents involving USA forces stationed there.
And back in December, a window from a chopper fell onto a school ground in the same area.
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