Ra­dioac­tive drone found on top of Ja­panese PM’s of­fice roof

The China Post - - GUIDE POST -

A small drone bear­ing traces of ra­dioac­tiv­ity was found on the roof of the Ja­panese prime min­is­ter’s of­fice Wed­nes­day, ap­par­ently hav­ing been flown there, ac­cord­ing to po­lice and the me­dia.

Staff at the of­fi­cial res­i­dence — known as “the Kan­tei” — dis­cov­ered the 50-cen­time­ter (20-inch) craft on top of the five-storey struc­ture in cen­tral Tokyo mid­morn­ing, ac­cord­ing to a spokesman at the Tokyo Metropoli­tan Po­lice.

The four-pro­pel­ler drone had what ap­peared to be a cam­era and a plas­tic con­tainer at­tached, the spokesman said.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors de­tected very low lev­els of ra­di­a­tion from the con­tainer, which was marked to in­di­cate it con­tained ra­dioac­tive sub­stances, Jiji Press and the Mainichi Shimbun said.

The ra­dioac­tiv­ity, pos­si­bily from ce­sium, was too low to pose any risk to hu­man health, said na­tional broad­casater NHK.

Ce­sium was among the ma­te­ri­als dis­persed into the en­v­i­ron- ment at Fukushima af­ter nu­clear re­ac­tors went into melt­down in the af­ter­math of the March 2011 tsunami.

Aerial footage showed dozens of po­lice of­fi­cers swarm­ing over the roof and he­li­pad of the mod­ern, glass-fa­cade Kan­tei, with the drone cov­ered by a blue tar­pau­lin.

The drone was later re­moved in a large plas­tic case.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors ear­lier sus­pected the ma­chine was car­ry­ing a flare, but it later tran­spired this was a bat­tery pack, re­ports said.

Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe, who is in In­done­sia, works at the build­ing dur­ing the day, and com­mutes from his own pri­vate home roughly 15 min­utes away.

The use of drones is be­com­ing more com­mon in Ja­pan, par­tic­u­larly for aerial sur­vey­ing, photography and video shoots.

There are cur­rently no legal re­stric­tions on the use of drones, although Chief Cabi­net Sec­re­tary Yoshi­hide Suga said Wed­nes­day the gov­ern­ment was ac­tiv­ley ex­am­in­ing the is­sue.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.