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Aviation Bureau Official: No UFOs reported in the past five years


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

There have been no reports of unidentified flying objects from aircraft in the past five years, the top official of the US Civil Aviation Agency revealed in the Diet on Thursday.

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

The Civil Aviation Act requires the captain of any civil aircraft, including passenger aircraft, to inform the Minister of Transport of any cases that could have affected the safety of air traffic in the air. This legal provision was believed to mainly cover cases such as volcanic explosions and disrupted airport functions, as well as situations that could ‘disrupt’ safe flight operations.

Kitazawa made this provision while appearing as an unsworn government witness before the committee.

“There have been no reported cases of unidentified abnormal phenomena for which records have been kept in the past five years,” Kitazawa said. UAP includes UFOs.

A Fisheries Agency official also said: “There is no record of encounters with UAP in reports prepared by fisheries patrol vessels or research vessels.”

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

In recent years, calls in the US Congress for the disclosure of UFO-related information have increased due to security concerns. The US Department of Defense has a special unit charged with examining objects in the air.

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