Tokyo, Dec 11 : Japan has ceased search and rescue operations for the five US military that have been missing since the crash of the US McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet and Lockheed Martin KC-130 aerial refuel tanker off the coast of Japan's Kochi prefecture last week, the Japanese Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
At the time of the incident, two crew members were on board the fighter jet, while the refuel tanker was carrying a five-member crew. Both F/A-18 pilots were later found but one of them was already dead.
According to the ministry's statement, six-day search and rescue operations, which involved 31 aircraft and 11 vessels of the Japan Self Defense Forces, have been stopped at the request of the country's coast guard.
The collision between the two aircraft took place late in the early hours of Thursday.
According to the US military, F/A-18 Hornet and Lockheed Martin KC-130 left the Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, located in the southwest of Japan's Honshu island, and were carrying out a planned refueling training when they collided. (UNI-SPUTNIK)