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International relations

US scrambles to keep F-35's secrets safe from Russia and China

Stealth fighter to play key role in missile defense shield

Japan's F-35A that went missing is believed to be able to act like a high-performance radar in the air. (Photo courtesy of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force )

TOKYO -- The U.S. and Japan have deployed an unprecedented amount of resources to search for the wreckage of a Japanese fighter jet with advanced technology that could potentially tip the balance of air supremacy if Russian or Chinese forces find it first.

Ever since the Aichi Prefecture-made F-35A stealth fighter disappeared from radar off the Japanese coast Tuesday, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and U.S. military have scrambled planes and ships in a frantic search in the Pacific Ocean for the wreckage and the jet's pilot, Major Akinori Hosomi, who is still missing.

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