Police investigating drone flights near imperial locations in Tokyo

A police officer and a police dog patrol around the Imperial Palace on Thursday. Photo: AP/Eugene Hoshiko

TOKYO, May 3, 2019, Japan Today. Police in Tokyo are investigating reports of drones seen flying Thursday night over the imperial palace, the Akasaka Estate, as well as near the Musashino Imperial Graveyard in Hachioji, reported the Japan Today.

Riot police on guard around the Imperial Palace reported seeing drones, flashing red and white lights, at around 8 p.m. Thursday, Fuji TV reported. Drones were also seen between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. over the nearby Akasaka Estate where Emperor Naruhito and his family live.

Current laws strictly prohibit the flying of drones within Tokyo’s downtown areas, which encompass the Imperial Palace, the Diet building, the prime minister’s official residence and other buildings. Airports are also off-limits to drones.

Furthermore, drones are banned from flying anywhere in Japan at night.

According to police reports, several eyewitnesses claimed to have first seen the drones above Sakuradamon, heading toward the Hanzomon area. Police believe more than one drone was flying in the area.

Another drone was spotted near the Musashino Imperial Graveyard, where Emperor Naruhito’s great-grandfather and grandfather are buried.

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