(Bloomberg) -- One crew member died and seven were missing after two Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopters are believed to have crashed in the Pacific Ocean, according to the defense ministry and the local media.

The SH-60K helicopters lost communication Saturday night off the coast of an island about 600 kilometers (373 miles) south of Tokyo, Defense Minister Minoru Kihara told reporters Sunday.

One of the eight crew members was rescued while seven remained unaccounted for, he said. Public broadcaster NHK later cited the minister as saying the rescued member was confirmed dead.

The Maritime Defense Force search party had spotted what were believed to be the parts of the missing aircraft, which had been taking part in night-time anti-submarine training, the minister said.  

Kihara said no evidence had emerged of a possible attack on the aircraft.

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