The Japanese Defense Minister noted that the country “will continue to ask the American side to explain the cause of the incident and ensure security.”

A U.S. Air Force F-16 combat aircraft flew in the area of the Misawa Air Base in northern Japan, contrary to the demands of the Japanese side to refrain from doing so until the causes of the incident with the dumping of a fuel tank in a residential area are clarified. This was stated on Friday at a press conference in Tokyo by Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi.

“It is extremely regrettable that flights were resumed without any explanation regarding the measures taken. We will continue to ask the American side to explain the cause of the incident and ensure security,” he said. According to him, the flight was carried out in the afternoon on Thursday.

On December 1, the Ministry of Defense of Japan made a presentation to the American military command due to the fact that an F-16 aircraft from the Misawa base in Aomori Prefecture dropped fuel tanks before making an emergency landing and demanded that flights of this type of aircraft be stopped until the causes of the incident were clarified.

Initially, the American command reported that the fuel tanks were dropped away from populated areas. However, at least one of them was discovered by the Japanese side within one of the settlements. He fell just 20-30 meters from a residential building. There was no information about the victims as a result of the incident, but the fallen tank damaged the barrier fence on one of the local highways.

After dumping the tanks, the F-16 made an emergency landing at Aomori Airport in northern Japan. Due to his emergency landing, the runway was temporarily closed, the work of which resumed only by the middle of the night. Previously, American F-16 have already dropped fuel tanks in Japan during emergency situations. In 2015, a plane of this type dropped tanks in the Sea of Japan near Aomori Prefecture, and in 2018, the tank was dropped into Lake Ogawara in the same prefecture.