Thursday 8 December 2016

Man arrested over drone landing on roof of PM's office

Published 25/04/2015 | 07:26

Yasuo Yamamoto, left, who admitted to landing a drone on the roof of the prime minister's office, is escorted out Obama Police Station in Obama, Fukui prefecture, western Japan Saturday, April 25, 2015. Japanese police arrested the man, officials said Saturday. Tokyo metropolitan police said the man turned himself in late Friday in Fukui police in western Japan. (Yohei Fukai/Kyodo News via AP) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT
Yasuo Yamamoto, left, who admitted to landing a drone on the roof of the prime minister's office, is escorted out Obama Police Station in Obama, Fukui prefecture, western Japan Saturday, April 25, 2015. Japanese police arrested the man, officials said Saturday. Tokyo metropolitan police said the man turned himself in late Friday in Fukui police in western Japan. (Yohei Fukai/Kyodo News via AP) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT

Japanese police have arrested a man who admitted landing a drone on the roof of the prime minister's office in a nuclear protest.

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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.

Investigators gather around a small drone covered with blue sheets on the roof of Prime Minister Shizo Abe's official residence in Tokyo. (Masakazu Mitsuyama/Kyodo News via AP) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT
Investigators gather around a small drone covered with blue sheets on the roof of Prime Minister Shizo Abe's official residence in Tokyo. (Masakazu Mitsuyama/Kyodo News via AP) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT

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.

Press Association

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