Washington Post: Japanese defense minister denies aliens have invaded Japan

Washington Post:

During a budget session in the Diet, or Japan‘s parliament, the country’s Defense Minister Gen Nakatani confirmed that aliens had never penetrated Japanese air space.

The statement was a response to a question by outlandish lawmaker and square-jawed former celebrity wrestler Antonio Inoki.

According to the AFP, Inoki queried whether Japanese fighter jets had ever intercepted extraterrestrial objects and if “studies were going on” to determine their existence.

When the Air Self Defense Force detects indications of an unidentified flying object that could violate our country’s airspace, it scrambles fighter jets if necessary and makes visual observation,” Nakatani responded earnestly.

They sometimes find birds or flying objects other than aircraft but I don’t know of a case of finding an unidentified flying object believed to have come over from anywhere other than Earth,” he said.

Inoki, whose signature wrestling move according to the WWE site was the “octopus stretch,” claimed to have once seen a mysterious UFO that sped off beyond the horizon.

As AFP notes, this isn’t the first time officials in Tokyo have addressed the issue of alien invaders. A formal statement in 2007 said the government “has not confirmed the existence of unidentified flying objects believed to have come from anywhere other than Earth.” But Japan’s defense minister at the time said there were “no grounds” to deny outright the existence of alien-manned UFOs.

In 2009, news reports noted that then-Japanese first lady Miyuki Hatoyama claimed to have known Tom Cruise in a previous life. She also revealed in a book that she had been abducted by aliens.

While my body was asleep, I think my soul rode on a triangular-shaped UFO and went to Venus,” she wrote, according to the Guardian. “It was a very beautiful place, and it was very green.”

In 2011, the Obama administration was also compelled to discuss the question of extraterrestrial life in response to two petitions posted on the White House’s Web site. “The U.S. government has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted or engaged any member of the human race ,” wrote Phil Larson of the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he pays his Facebook and Twitter fees just like everyone else

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RocketNews24:

Has Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe fallen for one of those “Facebook to start charging” hoaxes?

Abe found himself the butt of the joke in parliament this week after slipping up on the subject of social media. The prime minister proudly told the House of Councillors on Wednesday that of course, he pays his Facebook and Twitter membership fees.

When Democratic Party politician Tsutomu Okubo asked Abe the question in an exchange during a budget meeting on Wednesday, he was clearly hoping to catch him out. And he succeeded.

Okubo first asked if the prime minister operates his social media accounts himself, to which Abe stated that he has help from staff, but the content of the tweets is all him. “My personal account, that one’s run by myself and my staff, basically I decide what we’re going to post about,” he told the assembly.

Next, Okubo asked with a cheeky smirk on his face: “And have you ever paid Twitter and Facebook service fees?”

He must have been delighted when the prime minister walked right into his trap, replying that yes, of course he pays his fees.

▼ Okubo looking pleased with his clever question.

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Like many world leaders, Abe has two sets of social media accounts, one under his own name, and an official account of the administration of the prime minister (the Kantei). He told the assembly that the fees on personal accounts are the responsibility of the individual:

“Of course, I pay my own fees for my personal social media accounts. But as for the Kantei accounts [the office of the PM], that’s paid for by the Kantei.”

Smiling, Okubo went on to explain what every schoolchild in this day and age knows: that Facebook and Twitter are free to use. For everyone. When he continued to poke the prime minister, asking, “Who are you paying these fees to, then?” there was audible laughter around the room.

▼ Even Abe’s team looked amused at the blunder.

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Abe rose again to counter with:

“I don’t actually know about the details of how it works. I decide the content of the posts and my staff do the rest. I think that’s to be expected really.”