The Japan Times
On 28 April 2020, an article appeared in “The Japan Times” titled “Pentagon officially releases military videos of UFOs.” The story told how the Pentagon had released officially released three videos showing “unidentified aerial phenomena.” It went on to say:
“In Tokyo, Defense Minister Taro Kono said Tuesday that Self Defense pilots had never witnessed a UFO. To be honest, I don’t believe in UFOs,” Kono said at a news conference. The minister said he would consider protocols for SDF pilots in case of encounters, including how to record and report any incidents.”
In a 2 May 2020 follow-up article titled “Japan Defense Ministry to draft UFO protocols in response to U.S. footage,” The Japan Times reported that:
“The Ministry will consider procedures for responding to, recording and reporting on UFO encounters as their unknown nature might cause confusion among Self Defense Forces pilots…Defense Minister Taro Kono said Tuesday that SDF pilots have never encountered UFOs but that the ministry will develop protocols for the possibility. According to the ministry, Air Self Defense Force fighter jets from seven bases ranging from Hokkaido to Okinawa are scrambled to monitor and identify aircraft of unknown nationality….If (UFOs) are encountered, training will be cancelled immediately,,” an ASDF source said. “We will week to identify it from a safe distance, including whether it is a drone and report it to the Air Defense Direction Center for orders”….”To be honest, I don’t believe in UFOs,”Kono said, “But because the Defense Department released such a video, I would like to hear from the U.S. side about its intentions and analysis.”
Journalist Giuliano Marinkovic located details of a Japanese Defense Press press conference dated 8 September 2020, with the following question and answer (Google English translation) session:
Q. Regarding UFOs, I would like to ask about your coping policy. When I heard about it in May, I thought I would consider it but how is the status of the examination? Also, what are your thoughts on the cooperation between Japan and the United States when you find an unidentified flying object?
A. We will soon be dealing with the policy. Japan and the United States were talked about during the recent meeting with Secretary Esper in Guam. We must refrain from giving details, but we will continue to work closely.
Q. Does this mean that you have been collaboration on UFOs in the future?
A. I would like to refrain from giving a brief explanation of the details.
Later, in a Tweet dated 9 September 2020, Giuliano Marinkovic, advised he had located the following item .on a Japanese television station report.
“Policy to deal with “UFO” Minister Kono, “it will be soon.”
Defense Minister Kono announced that he will soon announce a “coping policy” when the SDF encounters unidentified flying objects.
Defense Minister Kono: “We will soon discuss the policy regarding Japan and the United states, we talked about it during the meeting with Secretary Esper in Guam the other day.”
Minister Kono confirmed at the Japan-US Defense Ministers meeting last month that the SDF and the US Forces have agreed to cooperate on UFOs (unidentified flying objects.) According to people involved in the Self Defense Forces there is eyewitness information that “I often saw it in the past” and in the future we [plan to consider taking measures such as taking pictures. In April of this year, the US Department of Defense released a UFO video for the first time. The Japanese Ministry of Defense also indicated that Minister Kono would set procedures in case the SDF encounters a UFO.”
It will be interesting to see just what Japanese SDF protocols re UAP are put into place. It will also be interesting to see if US Secretary of Defense Esper, speaks to other countries about UAP.
Update: 16 September 2020
Thanks to Stig Agermose for drawing our attention to this follow-up:
“Japan’s Defense Minister has instructed his ministry and Self-Defense Force personnel on what to do in the event they encounter unidentified flying objects, or UFOs.
Kono Taro issued the instructions on Monday. They call for reports to be made if anyone spots an unidentifiable object in the air that could affect the country’s defense and security. The guidelines also urge all-out efforts to take photos or videos of the object to carry out necessary analysis. The Defense Ministry says the instructions were issued due to an increase in the use of drones and other objects that fly differently from conventional airplanes. Earlier this year, the US Defense Department released videos showing what it claims were UFOs, and set up a task force to investigate them.(Source: https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20200914_33/?fbclid=IwAR1u9lN3saUGnDN5etbF86S_AENvTAsKipWmNGrcMf8rGPaR7P7OyfWd24Q)