Japan: Unauthorized Video of MSDF Destroyer Likely Authentic; MSDF’s Security Measures will Probably be Called into Question

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
An Izumo destroyer is docked at a Maritime Self-Defense Force base in Yokosuka in 2023.

The Defense Ministry has concluded that a video posted online of a Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer that was probably taken by an unauthorized drone is likely to be authentic, ministry sources said.

The ministry analyzed the video after it was posted on social media in late March. The footage, which appears to have been taken by a drone, shows an Izumo destroyer docked at an MSDF base in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture. However, flying a drone over a base without consent from facility administrators is prohibited under the Drone Law.

Defense Minister Minoru Kihara said the ministry was investigating the authenticity of the images. The MSDF’s security measures will likely be called into question as the possibility of the Izumo video being authentic increases.

The 19-second video of the 248-meter-long destroyer, one of the largest of its kind, appears to show the ship’s deck as the camera slowly moves from the stern to the bow.