After the U.S. released UFO footage, Japan is preparing for future encounters.

Planning Ahead

In response to the U.S. Navy releasing its footage of UFOs, the Japanese government is now preparing for how it would handle such an encounter.

The Japanese Defense Ministry says its pilots have never encountered an unidentified flying object, The Japan Times reports, but authorities want to be prepared should it happen in the future. And while the new protocols are geared toward identifying military drones, they could also serve as guidance for first contact with hypothetical aliens.

Identified Flying Objects

Right now, whenever an unknown aircraft enters Japanese airspace, fighter jets are dispatched to identify where it came from and, if necessary, force it to land by firing warnings shots, Japan Times reports.

But because military leaders don't know whether that would work on a UFO or even if it would be detectable from the ground, new guidelines could prove necessary.

"To be honest, I don’t believe in UFOs," Defense Minister Taro Kono told The Japan Times. "But because the Defense Department released such a video, I would like to hear from the U.S. side about its intention and analysis."

Pragmatic Approach

The new protocols are based around a scenario in which a pilot on a training or surveillance mission encounters a UFO mid-flight.

"If (UFOs) are encountered, training will be canceled immediately," a source within Japan's Air Force told The Japan Times. "We will seek to identify it from a safe distance, including whether it is a drone, and report it to the Air Defense Direction Center for orders."

READ MORE: Japan Defense Ministry to draft UFO protocols in response to U.S. footage [The Japan Times]

More on UFO footage: Pentagon Officially Releases Three UFO Videos

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