Defence officials told CNN that they believe five individuals were aboard a KC-130 aircraft, while two persons were onboard an F/A 18. One Marine was confirmed to have been rescued, a Marine Corps spokesperson said.
"Search and rescue operations continue for US Marine Corps aircraft that were involved in a mishap off of the coast of Japan around 2:00 am local time) Dec. 6," a US Marine Corps statement confirmed.
The statement added that the planes "had launched from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and were conducting regularly scheduled training when the mishap occurred".
The planes crashed around 320 kilometres off the coast of Iwakuni, a Marine Corps official told CNN.
While the primary objective of a KC-130 is in-flight refueling, it is not confirmed whether the operation was underway at the time of the crash.
"The circumstances of the mishap are currently under investigation. Japanese search and rescue aircraft immediately responded to aid in recovery," the Marine Corps added in a statement.
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