The U.S. Air Force has some questions to answer after an F-16 fighter jet dropped a 230 kg training bomb on land about 5 kilometers west of its training area in Japan on Wednesday. Luckily there was no damage to life or property, and the concrete-filled bomb landed harmlessly in a meadow.

The incident occurred in Aomori Prefecture just outside of a training site about 12 miles north of Misawa Air Base, which is maintained by the U.S. military and shared with the Japanse Self Defense Forces  There are a post office and a school within proximity of where the bomb came to rest.

Following established protocol, the U.S. military alerted the Japanese Defense Ministry on Thursday morning. The ministry provided workers and worked with local authorities to secure the area and assess any damage. The Japanese government was less than pleased as indicated by comments made by Aomori Gov. Shingo Mimura when he told The Japan Times, “It could have caused a terrible disaster. We are taking this incident very seriously.”

The U.S. military put a stop to training missions that required the use of similar “dummy” bombs until the cause of the incident can be determined. The Military began immediate inquiries hoping to calm the situation and salvage relationships with the local communities.  The incident has aggravated concerns and mistrust from residents who already question and distrust the U.S. military and its safety practices.

F16_Falcon A U.S. Air Force Viper West demo team F-16 Falcon flies over a military parade as part of the F-Air Colombia 2011 air festival in Rionegro, July 6, 2011. Photo: Reuters/Albeiro Lopera

As a whole, the U.S. and the Japanese forces get on well together, often training together and sharing locations; accidents are not frequent, but questions have arisen recently after the Japanse government sought to bring charges against an unnamed Marine Corps helicopter pilot after a crash in 2016. There is growing sentiment across the country against U.S. troops.

Under the terms of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement that governs the presence of U.S. troops in the country, Japan can indict U.S. military personnel accused of crimes in the country. There has been no mention of any criminal complaints from the government yet, but this has done nothing to ease tensions.