Japan believes China flew spy balloons in its airspace in recent years

Tokyo, Feb 15 (EFE).- Japan said that it detected three unidentified objects flying over its territory between 2019 and 2021, which it suspects were Chinese spy balloons similar to the one shot down by the United States early February.

“As a result of further analysis of balloon-shaped flying objects that have been confirmed in Japan’s airspace in the past…we have come to the conclusion that they are strongly suspected to be unmanned surveillance balloons flown by China,” the Japanese defense ministry said in a brief statement on Tuesday.

It’s the first time Japan has spoken out on the matter since the US shot down what it called a Chinese spy balloon in its airspace earlier this month.

The objects were sighted in November 2019, June 2020 and September 2021, according to the ministry.

“In response to this, we will request the Chinese government to confirm the facts regarding this matter through diplomatic channels and strongly request that such a situation not occur in the future,” added the ministry added, which did not give any explanation as to why it believes the flying objects belonged to China.

The announcement comes after Japanese authorities decided to re-analyze past sightings of unidentified flying objects in its airspace in the wake of Washington’s downing of the Chinese device earlier this month, which Beijing claimed was a civilian airship conducting meteorological research. EFE


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