A military aircraft with six people on board has gone missing in Japan. The jet, operated by Tokyo's Air Self-Defense Force, left the naval base in Kagoshima Prefecture in south-western Japan.

According to Japan's public broadcaster NHK, the aircraft took off from the Maritime Self-Defense Force's Kanoya base at about 1pm local time on 6 April. Helicopters have been deployed to find the missing U-125 aircraft.

The plane was thought to be on a routine patrol mission monitoring airport facilities when it lost contact with the ground nearly 45 minutes after its flight. Radar data showed the plane's last position was about 11km north of the Kanoya base. Tokyo's defence ministry is yet to officially release details on the disappearance.