ASDF’s Blue Impulse to Fly over Quake-Hit Noto in March

REUTERS/Toru Hanai
Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s aerobatic flight team “Blue Impulse”

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—The Blue Impulse aerobatic team of the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force is likely to fly over the earthquake-battered Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture next month, Defense Minister Minoru Kihara said Tuesday.

At a House of Representatives budget subcommittee meeting, Kihara noted that the Blue Impulse’s performance should be one of ways having profound significance in cheering up Noto Earthquake-afflicted people.

“We will push ahead with the plan,” he said.

The aerobatic team is scheduled to fly over Ishikawa and neighboring Fukui Prefecture on March 16 to commemorate the start of Hokuriku Shinkansen bullet train operations on the extended section between Kanazawa, the capital of Ishikawa, and Tsuruga in Fukui.

The envisaged exhibition flight over the peninsula may take place around that time, people familiar with the matter said.

Based in the ASDF’s Matsushima base in Miyagi Prefecture, the Blue Impulse flew over the city of Kumamoto in 2017 to help promote reconstruction after a series of powerful earthquakes the previous year and over Tokyo in May 2020 as a way to show gratitude to medical workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.