Japanese military helicopter loses contact off central Japan

A Japanese defense helicopter carrying four crew members has lost contact during flight training in central Japan.

Defense officials say the UH-60J lost contact Tuesday evening while flying over the Pacific Ocean about 30 kilometers (18 miles) south of Hamamatsu, a coastal city in central Japan.

Officials say a search and rescue effort is underway. So far, there has been no sign of the helicopter or its crew members.

No further details were available.

In August, another defense helicopter, a SH-60J, crashed off the northern Japanese coast, leaving three of its four crew members missing.