• Kyodo


The government is looking to release new evidence it says proves its claim that a South Korean warship locked its fire-control radar on a Maritime Self-Defense Force plane, a government source said Saturday.

It is considering making public an audio recording from the MSDF patrol plane it claims was targeted over the Sea of Japan on Dec. 20, the source said.

Japan will decide on whether or not to release the audio recording after Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya returns from a visit to the United States on Sunday, according to the source.

“We should avoid any misunderstanding among Japanese citizens and the international community. We have to explain what happened,” Iwaya told reporters while visiting Hawaii.

In response, South Korea’s Defense Ministry issued a statement urging Japan not to “distort the facts” and release “incorrect” information with the intention of causing further confrontation between the two countries.

Tokyo released video footage in late December of the alleged incident, in which it says the vessel engaged a radar system that measures how far away a target is and its direction of travel.

South Korea maintains Japan has presented no definitive proof to back its claim.

The intensity of the radio waves used by the radar tend to be constant and powerful, and the footage showed an MSDF crew member remarking on the plane’s systems picking up an “extremely strong” reading.

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