Flight data recorder from Japan's crashed F-35A retrieved, but key data still missing
Japan Times -- May 08
The Defense Ministry has retrieved part of the flight data recorder from a F-35A stealth fighter that went missing last month, but it was heavily damaged and also did not include a storage device to record speed and altitude data, Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya told reporters Tuesday.

The discovery on the sea floor, the exact location of which has been withheld for security reasons, is therefore unlikely to help determine the cause of the crash.

What looked like some parts of the stealth fighter — which cost more than ¥10 billion — were also spotted on the sea floor, about 1,500 meters below the surface. The Defense Ministry plans to salvage them, said a public relations officer with the Air Self-Defense Force in Tokyo.

The F-35A stealth fighter went missing on April 9 about 135 kilometers east of Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture, during a combat exercise together with other three F-35As.

The pilot, Maj. Akinori Hosomi, has yet to be found.

The crash of the F-35A, which was made by U.S. firm Lockheed Martin and assembled by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Ltd., is believed to have been the first in the world for that particular model, drawing much attention from military analysts around the world as a result.

岩屋防衛大臣は先月9日に墜落した航空自衛隊のステルス戦闘機F35Aの事故に関し、現場付近の海底でフライトレコーダーの一部を発見したことを明らかにしました。 岩屋防衛大臣:「(フライトレコーダーの)全部が発見されているわけではありませんので、かなりだから損傷が激しいのかなと。
News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
May 20
Officials of Japan's southwestern island town of Yakushima say all the people stranded on a mountain have descended by Sunday evening. (NHK)
May 20
Japanese authorities raised the volcanic alert level for Mt Hakone on Sunday and warned people not to approach the crater, as seismic activity has been increasing in the popular hot-spring resort area near Tokyo. (Japan Today)
May 18
Toyota Motor has brought back its Supra sports car after a 17-year absence. The new two-seater model was released on Friday in Japan, with its engine provided by the company's German partner, BMW. (NHK)
May 17
A report released by a global union federation has demanded better conditions for laborers working on the construction of Tokyo Games facilities after several "alarming" alleged labor violations were uncovered. (Japan Today)
May 15
Fast Retailing Co. said hackers may have gained access to the personal information of about half a million users of its Uniqlo and GU brand e-commerce portals. (Japan Times)
May 15
A UNESCO advisory panel has recommended adding two ancient tumulus clusters in western Japan, including the country's largest keyhole-shaped mound named after an emperor, to the World Cultural Heritage list, a Japanese government official said Tuesday. (Kyodo)
May 15
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 50-year-old man over the alleged rape of a female university student whom he drugged beforehand, reports the Sankei Shimbun (tokyoreporter.com)
May 14
Tokyo's busy Shibuya district has decided to ban drinking alcohol on some streets during the Halloween season, officials said Monday. (Japan Today)
May 11
Japan enacted legislation Friday making preschool education free as part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's drive to expand child care support and stem the country's falling birthrate. (Japan Today)
May 11
Japan's Finance Ministry says the nation's debt has exceeded 10 trillion dollars, hitting a record high for a third straight year. (NHK)