updated 1/16/2006 10:58:09 PM ET 2006-01-17T03:58:09

An American F-15 “Eagle” fighter jet crashed into the sea near Okinawa Island on Tuesday morning, but the pilot ejected and was rescued with only minor injuries, American military officials said.

The plane went down about 10 a.m. off the coast of Ikeijima, part of the Okinawa island chain, during a routine training mission, according to a statement issued by U.S. Air Force officials on Kadena Air Base. The crash occurred about 55 miles northeast of the base.

The statement said the cause of the crash was under investigation. The pilot’s name was not released.

Okinawa is about 660 miles south of Tokyo.

Kadena Air Base is one of the largest U.S. airfields in the Pacific and home to the largest combat wing in the Air Force. About 50,000 U.S. troops are stationed in Japan under a mutual security pact.

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