UFOs may have visited Japan but, according to the island nation’s highest military official, not one has ever been identified as being of an alien or extraterrestrial origin. The revelation came in answer to a question posed by a member of the Japanese government, one concerning whether or not defense forces had ever been scrambled to intercept a perceived extraterrestrial threat.
CNN reported April 3 that Defense Minister Gen Nakatani told Japan’s parliament, the Diet, that, of course, the ASDF (Air Self Defense Force) takes to the air when the nation’s airspace is breached. “When the Air Self Defense Force detects indications of an unidentified flying object that could violate our country’s airspace, it scrambles fighter jets if necessary and makes visual observation,” he said. “They sometimes find birds or flying objects other than aircraft but I don’t know of a case of finding an unidentified flying object believed to have come over from anywhere other than Earth.”
Nakatani had responded to a question posed to the Upper House Budget Committee by celebrity wrestler/spokesperson/politician Muhammad Hussain Inoki, who is better known by his wrestling moniker of Antonio Inoki. The 72-year-old House of Councillors member had asked the committee meeting if Japanese defense aircraft were ever scrambled to meet extraterrestrial threats and if there was research being conducted regarding alien visitors.
CNN noted that the parliamentary exchange wasn’t the first where Japanese officials had considered UFOs and extraterrestrials visiting the Earth in a serious light. In 2007 then-Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba spoke about the legal ramifications of defending against an invasion from outer space. The ability to respond, he noted, was limited by the nation’s constitution, which forbids making war as a diplomatic option in international conflicts as well as armed intervention to aid in foreign conflagrations. According to The Japan Times, Ishiba said that there were “no grounds” upon which to deny the existence of UFOs controlled by aliens.
As for Antonio Inoki’s interest, the famed politician claims he once saw a UFO. Still, he maintains that he does not know if aliens exist or not.
Before becoming a politician, Inoki was an internationally famous wrestler and once fought World Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali in an exhibition match. Also known as an astute politician, Inoki has had a notable and colorful career as an elected official, performing what is now referred to as “Dennis Rodman diplomacy” (because of his unauthorized “diplomatic” missions to North Korea) as far back as 1990 when he traveled to Iraq to try to secure the release of Japanese hostages. More recently, he was suspended from parliament for 30 days for an unauthorized visit to North Korea.
Japan had only 7 UFO sightings in 2014, according to a MUFON hotspots report. This could account for the low number of unidentified flying objects being seen as possibly extraterrestrial, given that, by comparison, the United States recorded 7048 sightings.