A US F-15 fighter jet has crashed into the sea near the Japanese island of Okinawa. Okinawa houses a controversial American military presence, which has been the subject of numerous protests.

The US military has confirmed the incident which happened  on Sunday.  The pilot ejected from the fighter jet and was safely recovered. Earlier reports suggested there were possibly two crew members on board, but the aircraft has now been confirmed to be a single-seat F-15C Eagle. The jet reportedly took off from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa and crashed some 80 kilometers from the coast.

The US Air Force base at Okinawa has been plagued with technical mishaps. At least 25 incidents and emergencies have taken place over Japan in 2017.

US military personnel, about 25,000 of whom are stationed at Okinawa, have also been causing concern for the local Japanese. Violent, sometimes deadly incidents involving US  military personnel  have triggered massive protests and calls to relocate the Okinawa bases. These include the 2016 rape and murder of a Japanese woman by an American army base worker and a drunk-driving case where a Japanese man was killed in 2017.