Japan to Revise Weapons Use Criteria over Spy Balloons
Tokyo, Feb. 15 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese Defense Ministry plans to revise its criteria on the use of weapons to respond to unmanned drones and spy balloons violating the country's airspace, ministry officials said Wednesday.
The ministry unveiled the plan at a meeting of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Minoru Kihara, former special adviser to the prime minister, told reporters.
The ministry previously did not consider balloons to be a security threat, but it now apparently thinks it needs to act following the appearances of suspected spy balloons.
Article 84 of Japan's Self-Defense Forces law stipulates that when foreign aircraft intrudes into Japanese airspace, the SDF can take necessary measures, including the use of weapons for legitimate self-defense or emergency evacuation.
Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada has said that Japan can shoot down a balloon that had violated the country's airspace, based on this law.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]