TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 60-year-old man for shining a laser at a U.S. military aircraft using Yokota Air Base earlier this year, reports the Asahi Shimbun (May 22).
At around 6:30 p.m. on February 11, Yoshinori Shigekawa allegedly shined a green laser from a parking lot in Fussa City at a C-130 transport aircraft during a training flight.
According to a previous report, the laser did not disturb the flight of the aircraft. The pilot, who observed the laser for a period of up to six seconds, ended the flight after the incident.
After the incident, the U.S. military reported the matter to Tokyo police. On Wednesday, Shigekawa was accused of obstruction of business. “I started doing this about three years ago,” the suspect was quoted by police in admitting to the allegations.
TBS News includes some statements from Shigekawa. When asked whether he knew it was dangerous, the suspect said, “Conducting dangerous aviation is dangerous.” When asked whether he knew it was illegal, he said, “No.”
During a search of the residence of Shigekawa in Akiruno City, officers found five laser pointers.
Police are now investigating whether Shigekawa as also behind roughly 40 similar incidents involving transport and Osprey aircraft and helicopters have taken place since March of last year.