Japan defense chief: No abnormalities found so far in choppers' flight recorders

Japan's Defense Minister Kihara Minoru says no abnormalities have been confirmed so far in the data retrieved from the flight recorders of two Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopters that crashed on Saturday.

The SH-60K patrol helicopters, each with a crew of four, crashed off Torishima Island in the Izu Islands in the Pacific Ocean. The accident left one person dead and seven others missing.

Kihara told reporters on Monday that the two flight recorders recovered on Sunday are still being analyzed.

He said an investigation committee will examine the data and other information to determine the cause of the accident.

Kihara said the Self-Defense Forces and the Japan Coast Guard are continuing to search for the missing.

The minister added that he has issued instructions for thorough aircraft safety management and the entire Self-Defense Forces will take all possible measures to ensure safety in operating the aircraft of the Ground, Maritime and Air Self-Defense forces.