Search widens for US Marine Corps pilot missing in Japan

File Graphic: U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet assigned to Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1) provides close air support during an offensive air support exercise at Observation Point Feets, Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range, Calif., March 29, 2016. The exercise is part of Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) 2-16, a seven-week training event hosted by Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1) cadre. MAWTS-1 provides standardized tactical training and certification of unit instructor qualifications to support Marine Aviation Training and Readiness and assists in developing and employing aviation weapons and tactics. (U.S. Marine Corps photograph by SSgt. Artur Shvartsberg, MAWTS-1 COMCAM/Released)

TOKYO (AP) — The search for a Marine Corps pilot who ejected from an F/A-18 jet in southern Japan was expanded to a wider area after daybreak Thursday, the U.S. military said.

The aircraft was on a regular training mission Wednesday when the incident occurred about 120 miles (190 kilometers) southeast of Iwakuni, the Marine Corps said.

Joint search efforts with Japanese military ships and aircraft were carried out through the night.

The identity of the pilot has not been released.

Japan’s Defense Ministry said the F/A-18 had been flying with another Marine Corps jet.

The Marine Corps said the aircraft was assigned to the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Okinawa, Japan.

It said the cause of the incident was under investigation.

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