Spy balloons, Japan’s “strong suspicion” of China

Three unidentified flying objects entered Tokyo airspace in three years

The government of Tokyo has a ”strong suspicion” that three unidentified flying objects that have entered its airspace in three years, since 2019, are Chinese spy balloons. The Japanese news agency ‘Kyodo’ writes it, specifying that the three flying objects were detected in the Kagoshima prefecture, in south-western Japan, in November 2019 and in the north-eastern prefectures of Miyagi and Aomori respectively in June 2020 and in September 2021.

It is the first time that Japanese authorities have made such an official statement after the United States shot down Chinese spy balloons that entered American airspace. Tokyo has asked Beijing to confirm the entry into its airspace of Chinese spy balloons and to prevent them from happening again. The Japanese government has also told China it will never accept any violation of its skies.

“We will fully engage in intelligence gathering and surveillance activities against balloons, including unmanned balloons for foreign espionage,” the Japanese Defense Ministry said in a statement. Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada told a press conference a week ago that the self-defense forces will be allowed to use weapons, including air-to-air missiles, to deal with airspace incursions.