- DEFENSE & SECURITY
‘Chinese Balloons’ Flew Near Japan’s Important Facilities
17:20 JST, February 16, 2023
The three objects strongly suggesting Chinese surveillance balloons confirmed in Japan’s airspace since November 2019 were near important infrastructure such as a nuclear power plant and Self-Defense Forces facilities.
This has prompted the Defense Ministry to strengthen its monitoring of the airspace.
Facing the East China Sea in Kagoshima Prefecture is the city of Satsuma-Sendai. On Nov. 20, 2019, an employee of the Sendai Space Museum captured images of an object through a telescope. The museum, which specializes in astronomical observation, was notified by a resident that a possible UFO was flying over the city.
The museum’s employees saw the object in the sky heading west to east. At that time, the setting sun was reflecting off the object. When the object was viewed through a telescope, a white sphere could be seen with what seemed to be a linear item attached to the bottom of the sphere.
The city is home to important facilities, such as the Sendai nuclear power plant of Kyushu Electric Power Co. and the Ground Self-Defense Force’s Camp Sendai. The municipal government was also alerted to the floating object, and its employees visually confirmed it.
A whitish floating object was also spotted in Miyagi Prefecture at about 8 a.m. on June 17, 2020. The white object had what seemed like two propellers and was at an altitude of more than 3,000 meters, according to a senior official of the Miyagi prefectural government.
The object passed eastward over the southern part of the prefecture and disappeared out to sea shortly after 3:30 p.m. Air Self-Defense Force facilities are located in the prefecture.
Over a year later, on Sept. 3, 2021, a flying object was confirmed in Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture, where a Maritime Self-Defense Force base is situated.
Masahiro Iwamura, now 67, spotted the white object in the southwest sky at about 5 a.m. that day when he was taking photos of the sunrise near a beach.
Observing the object through a camera lens, he saw something hanging from the sphere, he said.
The Defense Ministry said Tuesday that it is performing all possible vigilance and surveillance.
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