Man arrested over drone landing on roof of PM's office
Published 25/04/2015 | 07:26
Japanese police have arrested a man who admitted landing a drone on the roof of the prime minister's office in a nuclear protest.
Tokyo police said the man turned himself in Fukui, western Japan.
The small drone found on Wednesday had traces of radiation and triggered fears of potential terrorist attacks using unmanned aerial devices.
No one was injured and prime minister Shinzo Abe was travelling at the time.
Yasuo Yamamoto, 40, is facing charges of flying the drone and obstructing duties at Mr Abe's Tokyo office.
Public broadcaster NHK said police quoted the unemployed man as saying he did it to protest at the government's nuclear energy policy.
Fukui is home to about a quarter of Japan's 48 workable reactors, which are currently all offline following the 2011 tsunami-triggered Fukushima plant disaster. Mr Abe's administration wants to restart as many of the idled plants as possible.
The drone was carrying a small camera and a plastic bottle containing what police suspect was the source of radioactive cesium, levels of which were too low to affect humans or the environment.
Yamamoto said he used the sand from an unspecified location in Fukushima, where radiation levels are still high due to fallouts from the Fukushima Dai-ichi meltdowns, according to NHK.
The government has set up a taskforce to work on regulations for the use of small drones while ensuring the security of key government facilities.
It is not clear exactly when the drone landed because workers at the office in central Tokyo rarely go up to the roof. An official taking new employees on a building tour reportedly spotted the drone.
In January, a drone flown by an off-duty intelligence employee crashed in the grounds of the White House.