Japan lawmakers want govt to guard against security risks of UFOs

TOKYO (Reuters) - Two former Japanese defence ministers are among a group of lawmakers planning to form a nonpartisan parliamentary grouping to urge the government to look into unidentified flying objects, founder members said.

Opposition lawmaker Yoshiharu Asakawa cited findings last year by the U.S. government's All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) set up to handle such issues, adding that Japan lacked a similar body.

"According to what AARO announced in 2023, there had been many reports of UAP sightings in the skies over Japan," he said, using a term, unidentified anomalous phenomena, often used to describe such events.

"If they turn out to be cutting-edge weapons from other countries or unmanned reconnaissance planes ... they can be a serious threat to our country's security," Asakawa added.

He was speaking to a meeting of founders of the group, which includes former Defence Ministers Yasukazu Hamada and Shigeru Ishiba.

"We will be urging the government to set up a dedicated entity to improve Japan's information gathering and analysis capabilities regarding UAP, and to deepen cooperation with the United States on the matter," Asakawa added.

Hamada will head the lawmakers' group, expected to be set up on June 6, and former environment minister Shinjiro Koizumi, son of former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, will be secretary-general, Asakawa's office said.

In a written message to the meeting, read by Koizumi, Hamada said the lawmakers' effort aims to guard against any future trouble.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)