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Japan to clear way for SDF to shoot down encroaching balloons

U.S. downing of Chinese spy ship triggers Self-Defense Forces review

Japan's Ministry of Defense announced at least three flying objects previously identified in Japanese airspace "are strongly presumed to be unmanned reconnaissance balloons flown by China."   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- The Japanese Ministry of Defense is considering how to relax requirements that must be met before the Self-Defense Forces can use weapons to bring down foreign-lofted balloons flying through Japanese airspace, the ministry said on Wednesday.

Currently, the SDF can only shoot down devices that violate Japanese airspace if it is acting in self-defense, the ministry said.

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