The Japanese Self-Defense Forces have been issued orders on how to respond to unidentified flying objects menacing the country’s airspace – though the defense minister insists he does not, personally, believe in aliens.
The orders were distributed in writing to Japan’s Ministry of Defense and SDF personnel, NHK TV reported on Monday. Defense Minister Taro Kono personally requested they be drawn up back in April after the Pentagon officially released three videos shot by US Navy pilots depicting flying objects behaving in a bizarre manner.
SDF servicemembers are instructed to immediately inform their superiors if they see an unidentified flying object that could pose a threat to Japanese national defense and security. They’re also supposed to film the object as comprehensively as possible, so they can subsequently analyze the footage and (hopefully) determine the nature of the airborne oddity. Footage submitted by the public will also be analyzed in detail under the new orders.
While Kono stressed he’s not into aliens when he first issued the order five months ago – “Frankly speaking, I don’t believe in UFOs,” he told reporters – the official reason for the directive is an increase in drone traffic and other flying objects that move unlike conventional planes. Kono claimed that no Japanese pilot had ever seen a UFO.
The Pentagon set up an Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force to investigate UFO incidents last month, reviving an allegedly-mothballed unit called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program whose existence was only recently revealed to the public (and which may not have actually been disbanded at all). Shortly thereafter, Kono met with US Defense Secretary Mark Esper in Guam, and the UFO issue surfaced as a possible topic for Japanese-American cooperation, according to Kyodo News.
The three videos officially released by the Pentagon earlier this year initially emerged in 2007 and 2017, driving alien enthusiasts wild with what appeared to be manmade vehicles seemingly defying the laws of aerodynamics. However, alternative explanations for the clips have surfaced. Multiple former employees of the US military-industrial complex suggested the “UFOs” were part of a top-secret weapons program, possibly a missile-defense component known as a “kinetic kill weapon” or “exoatmospheric kill vehicle.” A retired CIA officer argued the videos showed “ghost aircraft” generated by a US radar-spoofing program.
Even Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) acknowledged that the weird aircraft might just be demonstrating top-secret US military technology – though he couched the suggestion in a warning that “China or Russia” had possibly made “some technological leap” imperiling the American way.
A weird balloon-like object spotted in northern Japan in June set social media afire, with speculation on its alien nature exploding after the Japanese Meteorological Agency and the SDF both denied it belonged to them. Despite Kono’s insistence that the SDF has never had a ‘close encounter,’ several unexplained sightings of UFOs by Japanese pilots have actually been reported to the government – though authorities tend to dismiss such sightings out of hand.
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