Doubts Raised over Whether Japan Can Really Shoot Down Spy Balloons


Tokyo, Feb. 12 (Jiji Press)--Many defense-related officials in Japan have raised concerns over the feasibility of the Self-Defense Forces shooting down spy balloons flying above the country.

A U.S. fighter's downing of a suspected Chinese spy balloon earlier this month turned the spotlight on similar objects that had been spotted floating above Japan in the past few years.

Japan's Defense Ministry has adopted a position that it will not rule out the possibility of shooting such objects down, saying that airspace intrusions by a foreign balloon will be dealt with accordingly.

Many within the defense community, however, have said that it would actually be difficult for Japan to shoot down spy balloons due to the hard-to-obtain permission for the SDF to use weapons and also in terms of skills.

Similar flying objects were spotted floating above the Tohoku northeastern Japan region in June 2020 and in September 2021.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press