A Marine plane crash off the coast of Japan on Wednesday left the pilot missing, the Marine Expeditionary Force said in a statement.
The F/A-18 Hornet, which was assigned to the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Okinawa, was about 120 miles southeast of Iwakuni, Japan, when the pilot ejected from the aircraft about 6:40 p.m. local time Wednesday, or 4:40 a.m. Eastern time.
"The aircraft was conducting regularly scheduled training at the time of the mishap," the Marine statement said, USNI News reported. "The cause of the incident is under investigation."
A search and rescue effort to find the pilot was underway after in the incident.
The Marine Corps has air installations in two locations in Japan.
The incident came as U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter traveled to Japan for the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack.
"It's a testament to the strength of our alliance and the character of the Japanese people that a mere 75 years after Pearl Harbor, my friend and counterpart, Minister Inada, and I can stand next to each other proudly and discuss how our two countries can strengthen the security of this region together," Carter said in his statements, according to CBS News.
"America's interests in this region are enduring," Carter continued, referencing speculation about the direction of President-elect Donald Trump's Asia policy.
Wednesday's incident was the latest of six incidents involving F/A-18 fighters this year. Two jets crashed this summer, one of the accidents resulting in the death of Marine Corps Maj. Sterling Norton, 36, stated Fox News.
The head of Marine Corps aviation earlier had ordered a 24-hour pause in training operations around the fleet, except those taking part in airstrikes against the Islamic State, Fox News reported.
The Japan crash was also the fourth F/A-18 accident since October, including an incident in November when two jets collided near San Diego.
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