Japan defense minister reacts to suspected drone video of MSDF vessel

Japan's Defense Minister Kihara Minoru says he will strengthen security capabilities of Self-Defense Force facilities. The remark comes after apparent drone footage posted online of a Maritime Self-Defense Force vessel docked at a base was found highly likely real.

The footage was posted on a Chinese video-sharing website and other social media in March. It appears to show the destroyer Izumo docked at the MSDF base in Yokosuka City, south of Tokyo.

The Defense Ministry said on Thursday that the video was analyzed and judged to be very likely authentic.

Unauthorized flights of unmanned aerial vehicles near and over Self-Defense Force bases are banned by law.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Kihara said he takes the results of the analysis gravely, as damage by drones to Japanese defense-related facilities could seriously undermine the country's security.

He said the ministry will accelerate efforts to introduce advanced equipment to prevent such intrusions. He added that it will enhance security capabilities of SDF facilities, for example by conducting forced landings of such aircraft using jamming as allowed by law.