An F-16 fighter jet of United States Air Force’s 35th Fighter Wing unintentionally dropped an inert bomb on a pasture five kilometers west out of the Draughon Gunnery Range.
The dropped inert bomb which weights 230 kilograms was located in a hole, three meters under the ground. No personal injuries were reported. USAF at Misawa suspended the bomb drop training.
Japan’s Defense Ministry says it informed local governments after receiving notice of the incident from the US forces in Japan.
The ministry quotes the US military as saying an F-16 stationed at the US Misawa Air Base dropped a training device near an air-to-ground gunnery range north of the base at around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
The US forces explained what fell from the aircraft was an inert bomb and it was later found on private land near the range.
The US Air Force will suspend training flights near Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture in the wake of an incident when the F-16 fighter jet accidentally dropped an inert bomb, the United States Forces Japan (USFJ) wrote on Twitter.
“USFJ takes safety seriously and Misawa has suspended inert drops until further notice,” the statement reads. “This incident highlights the importance of realistic training to ensure safety of operations.”
The Japanese authorities have reprimanded Washington, demanding the US make every effort to avoid such incidents.
Minor aircraft incidents have been on the rise in Japan over the past years, which caused serious concerns among citizens. These incidents are often related to US aircraft deployed to Japan, but sometimes they also involve the country’s Self-Defense Forces.