Tokyo police add drone detectors to counterterrorism measures for 2020 Olympics

The devices use signals from drones to identify their location, altitude and flight information

Asia News Network

TOKYO, Japan — The Metropolitan Police Department is planning to deploy drone detecting devices at all Tokyo venues for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games for the prevention of terrorism and other acts of sabotage. There are a total of 24 Olympic venues in Tokyo, with the new National Stadium in Shinjuku Ward serving as the main arena.

Operating drones in and around the venues is prohibited under a law regulating the use of drones.

During the Games, about 10 million people from Japan and abroad are expected to visit Tokyo, with foreign VIPs among them. It is said that urgent measures should be taken to counter possibilities such as a drone laden with hazardous materials or a vehicle-ramming terror attack.

The drone detecting device is capable of receiving signals emitted from a drone so as to identify its location and altitude and other flight information. The detector can cover a wider area — a radius of more than one kilometer around the venue — than commercial drone detectors provided by a major domestic security company, which are capable of detecting an object up to about 150 meters away.

Some of these detectors that cover a wider area have already been introduced into security operations in Tokyo, and they helped the police detect the illegal use of a drone and lay charges in the case. The police will deploy at least 20 such additional devices for the Games.

If a suspicious flying object is detected, a counter-drone squad will prevent its approach to a Games venue by using a jamming gun, which disables the drone by blocking its communication system or capturing it with a large drone outfitted with a big net.

The police are also considering deploying similar detectors and jamming guns at venues outside Tokyo.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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