Home World The Japanese Minister of Defense asked the US Secretary of Defense not to apologize over the parabolic U.S. military plane in a residential area

The Japanese Minister of Defense asked the US Secretary of Defense not to apologize over the parabolic U.S. military plane in a residential area

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Original Title: The Japanese Minister of Defense Discussed the U.S. Military Plane’s Throwing Objects in Residential Areas, but the U.S. Secretary of Defense did not apologize

  [文/观察者网 冯智源]

Japanese society was quite dissatisfied with the drop of the auxiliary fuel tank by the F-16 fighter jets stationed in Japan on the 30th of last month in a local residential area. Although the Japanese Ministry of Defense requested the US military to ground the F-16 on December 1, the US chose to go around the next day, which caused controversy.

Japan’s Defense Minister Nobuo and US Secretary of Defense Austin spoke on the phone yesterday (3rd), expressing regret over the parabolic behavior of US fighter jets in residential areas. Japanese media also reported on this. However, in the press release related to the two-person call issued by the Pentagon today, there was no mention of Japan’s position on the matter. Based on reports from various parties, Austin did not apologize for the incident.

The F16 fuel tank “falling down from the sky” in a residential area in Japan is from Kyodo News

The U.S. notice did not mention this at all

Regarding the conversation between Austin and Nobuo Kishi, the Pentagon today issued a short press announcement. According to the announcement, Austin emphasized his commitment to regional security and stability and the durability of the US-Japan alliance.

The announcement stated that in order to maintain the regional deterrence, the two also discussed deepening the defense cooperation between the two countries. The United States and Japan also agreed to convene an early US-Japan “2+2” meeting (a bilateral meeting mechanism for the foreign ministers and defense ministers of the United States and Japan to discuss security issues, and its official name is the “US-Japan Security Agreement Committee” meeting). In addition, the two also emphasized the importance of maintaining close cooperation between the United States, Japan and South Korea.

The content of the Pentagon’s announcement came to an abrupt end. However, the relevant announcement of the Ministry of Defense of Japan added a paragraph more than that of the U.S.-Nobuo Kishi talked about the parabola of the US military plane in Japan.

“After learning about the recent incident that the US F-16 fighter jet dropped into the auxiliary fuel tank, the Minister of Coast strongly urged the US troops stationed in Japan to move safely and properly handle the accident. The two sides confirmed that they will continue to cooperate closely,” the Ministry of Defense said.

In this regard, Japanese media generally reported on Kishi Nobuo’s statement on the matter.

Japan’s Jiji News Agency stated on the evening of the 3rd that Nobuo Kishi had protested to the US during the phone call, calling the incident a “extremely regrettable case concerning the safety of (local) residents” and demanded that the US military ensure the safety of (local people) to the utmost extent. He also expressed his “regret” about the return of the U.S. military to the F-16 stationed in Japan. The Japan Broadcasting Association (NHK) stated that Austin responded that “an investigation will be launched.”

RIA Novosti commented on the 3rd that the above-mentioned incident has made “the relationship between the Japanese defense department and the US military in Japan tense.”

The Pentagon notice did not mention the F-16 incident that Japan is concerned about. Screenshots from the Pentagon and the Ministry of Defense website.

“Thrown into a non-residential area”

On November 30, the F-16 fighter jets of the Misawa base in Aomori Prefecture of the US stationed in Japan dropped two auxiliary fuel tanks while flying in the prefecture, and then the U.S. military suspended all the flying activities of the F-16 fighter jets stationed in Japan.

“One of the fuel tanks dropped down in a local non-residential area,” the US military newspaper “Stars and Stripes” stated on the 1st. Initially, the 35th Fighter Wing of the U.S. Army, to which the fighter plane belonged, said so in a statement. However, the U.S. military later changed its slogan and stated that it “seems to fall in an open public area.”

However, according to Japanese media reports, one of the auxiliary fuel tanks was found near the national highway. The area was close to the local town government and surrounded by houses. The nearest house was only about 20 meters away from the dropped auxiliary fuel tank.

According to the US military, the aircraft involved had an emergency, so the pilot dropped the auxiliary fuel tank. The deputy commander of the involved wing, Timothy Murphy, said, “Our pilots act quickly in accordance with standard procedures to minimize the risk of casualties and loss.”

On December 1, the Ministry of Defense of Japan issued a notice in response to this matter, requesting the US military to ground the F-16 fighter jets stationed in Japan before confirming safety. However, on the 2nd, the F-16 fighter plane at the Misawa base of the US in Japan began flight training again.

Nobuto Kishi during a call with Austin on social media from the Ministry of Self-Defense

Not only did Austin fail to apologize, Kyodo News said that even Murphy, the deputy commander of the involved wing, merely expressed “regret” to the Japanese side without apologizing.

In contrast, the Sankei Shimbun attempted to show the “proactive” of the US in its reports on the 3rd.

The headline of the report stated that the call between Nobuo Kishi and Austin was an “emergency telephone conversation” proposed by the US. The article also stated that prior to the conversation between the two, Ricky Rupp, the commander of the U.S. Army in Japan, had conducted a “ceremonial visit” to Nobuo Kishi, informing him that the U.S. military had inspected all F16s and confirmed its safety. Going around has begun on a sexual basis.

The Shiji News Agency stated that the Japan-US status agreement stipulates that the US has the right to manage special facilities for the US military, and the Japanese government has no right to intervene in US military operations and related affairs. The Jiji News Agency also commented that the go-around reflects the US military’s awareness of privileges and a weak sense of security.

In February 2018, an F-16 fighter jet at a Misawa base stationed in Japan caused a fire shortly after take-off and discarded two auxiliary fuel tanks to the lake near the base, forcing fishermen to stop fishing. The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force subsequently fished out some parts from the bottom of the lake, and the US military took them back to the base after confirmation. The then Defense Minister Onodera Gotori promised to “pay the bill” for the actions of the US military. He said that he would respond to fishermen’s demands and compensate accordingly.

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