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Japan to study UFO threat – media

Lawmakers plan to form a cross-party panel to probe potentially dangerous unidentified anomalous phenomena

Japanese lawmakers are planning to establish a bipartisan group within the country’s parliament (Diet), aiming to change the government’s approach to investigating sightings of unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP), the formal term for what were previously described as UFOs, Japanese media reported this week.

According to reports citing the panel’s founding statement, it will be called the ‘Diet Members’ League for Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena Clarification from a National Security Perspective.’

The group’s members believe some UAPs could be weapons or spy drones that use advanced technology, and may therefore pose a threat to national security, local media says. The group reportedly plans to push for parliamentary legislation aimed at tracking and probing UAPs. At a press briefing on Friday, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi confirmed lawmakers’ plans to establish the panel.

The work of the group will officially start on June 6, the date of its founding meeting. The panel will reportedly include a number of senior Japanese politicians, including Yasukazu Hamada, the head of parliamentary affairs for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Shinjiro Koizumi, the former environment minister, and ex-Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba.

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At a press conference announcing the creation of the group on May 28, two of its members, MPs Kei Endo and Yoshiharu Asakawa, reportedly claimed to have seen UAPs themselves.

The group reportedly plans to base its work on that of the All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), a US agency established to investigate UAPs as part of Congress’ 2021 defense policy bill, and promote intergovernmental cooperation on UAP tracking between Tokyo and Washington.

Japan drew global attention as a UFO hot spot in 2020, after the Pentagon released footage shot by US Navy pilots over northern Japan depicting flying objects behaving in a strange manner. Then-Defense Minister Taro Kono said at the time that he does not believe in UFOs, but ordered the military to record all aerial phenomena they encounter over the country.

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Reports of UFO sightings based on eyewitness testimonies often emerge in Japanese media, with the unexplained phenomena most often spotted close to the regions around Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the two cities destroyed by US nuclear bombs in 1945, as well as the area near the damaged Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.

May 30, 2024 at 07:14PM

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