YOKOHAMA – The Kanagawa Prefectural Police arrested a 55-year-old Kawasaki man Wednesday on suspicion of projecting a laser beam on a Maritime Self-Defense Force jet in flight.
Police allege that Kazuhiko Date of Kawasaki’s Asao Ward used a laser pointer on the night of July 19 on the banks of the Tsurumi River near his house to project a green laser light a couple of times on an MSDF patrol plane and obstructed the operations of a 42-year-old pilot from the MSDF’s Atsugi base in Kanagawa Prefecture.
Date reportedly owned up to the charges, saying he did it because he was irritated by the noise of the aircraft. Investigators found four laser pointers in his home. The incident did not lead to any health damage or operational errors, according to the police.
Since the beginning of this year, the police have received 30 reports regarding the projection of laser beams toward Self-Defense Forces and U.S. military aircraft in the area, of which 29 were witnessed in Asao. They are investigating Date’s possible connection to the incidents.
The Atsugi base also contacted police in June about the incidents and released a video of projected green laser lights taken from a flying plane the same month.