Mysterious 'UFO' captures imaginations in Japan
Tokyo (AFP) - It's hardly the stuff of little green men, but a mysterious balloon-like object that hovers over the sky of northern Japan has caught national attention and even raised questions for the government.
The unidentified flying object was first discovered on Wednesday morning when the residents of the northern city of Sendai posted pictures on social media and discussed what they saw.
"This white thing doesn't move at all. What is it? Can someone tell me?" one user wrote, while others used the hashtag "unidentified flying object" in Japanese.
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The authorities said they were amazed at the property. Close-ups of residents and the media suggest that it is a balloon-like object that is attached to crossed sticks with propellers.
"The property looks like a weather monitoring balloon, but it's not ours," an official from the Japan Meteorological Agency's Sendai office told AFP Thursday.
Local police reportedly flew a helicopter to confirm the presence of the property, but also drew a gap in its identity - even after consulting other authorities and organizations.
The aviation department of Kyushu University publicly denied that the device was theirs, according to public speculation.
Shinichiro Higashino, an associate professor at the department, told Fuji TV that a close-up suggests the property is equipped with solar panels.
"It is possible that it will make scientific observations or monitor something," he said.
The riddle was dealt with nationwide and even asked the top government spokesman a question at its daily meeting.
Yoshihide Suga said the government was aware of the mysterious object, but refused suggestions that it could be foreign government work or do harm.
The mystery could remain unsolved - the property is reported to have now flown to the Pacific where the authorities have lost track of them.
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