Aviation Bureau Official: No UFOs Reported in Past 5 years

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, in November 2020

There have been no reports of unidentified flying objects being witnessed from aircraft over the past five years, the top official of the nation’s Civil Aviation Bureau revealed in the Diet on Thursday.

Ayumu Kitazawa, head of the bureau under the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry, made the comment in response to a question by Japan Innovation Party lawmaker Yoshiharu Asakawa during a meeting of the House of Representatives Security Committee.

The Civil Aeronautics Law requires the captain of any civilian aircraft, including passenger planes, to notify the transport minister about any instances that could have affected the safety of air traffic while they were airborne. This legal provision was assumed to pertain mainly to cases such as volcanic explosions and disrupted airport functions, but it also includes situations that might “interfere” with safe flight operations.

Kitazawa touched on this provision while taking the stand as an unsworn government witness before the committee.

“No cases of unidentified anomalous phenomena have been reported during the past five years for which records have been kept,” Kitazawa said. UAP include UFOs.

A Fisheries Agency official also said, “There are no records of encounters with UAP in any reports compiled by fisheries patrol vessels or research vessels.”

On June 6, dozens of lawmakers launched a nonpartisan group that will call on the government to establish a specialized agency to study UAP from a national security perspective. Former Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, a member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, chairs the 86-member group, while former Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi is the secretary general. Asakawa is head of the group’s secretariat.

In recent years, calls in the U.S. Congress for the disclosure of UFO-related information due to security concerns have been growing. The U.S. Defense Department has a special unit in charge of investigating airborne objects.