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International relations

Japan suspects China flew 3 spy balloons over territory in 2019-21

Tokyo demands that Beijing confirm facts and prevent a recurrence

Flying object photographed over Kagoshima prefecture in southern Japan in 2019.    © Kyodo

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan's government said Tuesday that three unidentified flying objects spotted over the nation's territory in three years from 2019 are "strongly suspected" to have been Chinese spy balloons.

It is the first time Japan has made such an announcement since the United States shot down a similar Chinese spy balloon earlier this month after its incursion into U.S. airspace, according to a Defense Ministry official.

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