• Kyodo


A laser beam was apparently aimed at the driver of a waiting shinkansen bullet train in late November in western Japan, an official of West Japan Railway Co. said Saturday, following similar incidents targeting flying aircraft in Okinawa and elsewhere.

A Kodama train halted at Tokuyama Station in Yamaguchi Prefecture on the Sanyo Shinkansen Line was targeted for several seconds, the official said, adding that railroad officials are consulting with local police.

The laser did not cause any harm, although it could have posed a danger by affecting the driver’s eyesight if the beam had shone directly into the person’s eye, the official said.

The operator of the shinkansen line stretching from Osaka to Fukuoka did not report the incident to the transport ministry as it occurred only once and did not affect the operation of the train, according to the official.

U.S. military aircraft flying near the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma and Kadena Air Base in Okinawa have apparently been targeted by lasers six times each so far. Police arrested a local businessman Monday in connection with an incident on July 1 near Futenma.

Similar laser incidents have also been confirmed against U.S. military and Maritime Self-Defense Force aircraft at the shared Atsugi base in Kanagawa Prefecture, and against commercial airplanes near Itami airport in Osaka.

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