A U.S. Navy destroyer fired practice missiles dangerously close to a Japanese coast guard vessel, and the Foreign Ministry tried to hush up the incident, a Transport Ministry spokesman said Friday.

The Foreign Ministry asked a top Transport Ministry official not to report Wednesday's incident, in which the USS Towers fired the missiles that landed behind the Japanese ship in Japanese territorial waters, the spokesman said.A Foreign Ministry spokesman denied his ministry tried to cover up the incident. By custom, both ministry spokesmen spoke on condition of anonymity.

The U.S. Navy expressed regret Thursday after the coast guard complained, the Foreign Ministry spokesman said.