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Drone detectors to counter terror threats at Olympics

TOKYO >> The Metropolitan Police Department is planning to deploy drone-detecting devices at all Tokyo venues for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games to prevent 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 by law.

During the Games, about 10 million people from Japan and abroad are expected to visit Tokyo. The effort addresses concerns about drones carrying hazardous materials and posing other threats.

Drone-detecting devices are capable of receiving signals emitted by drones, which provide their location, altitude and other flight information. The detectors cover more than 1,000 yards around a venue.

Some of these devices have already been implemented during security operations in Tokyo, and have already aided police in detecting illegal drones and securing charges in those cases. Law enforcement will deploy at least 20 devices for the Games.

If a suspicious object is detected, a counter-drone squad will disable it with a jamming gun, which blocks its communication system, or capture it with a large drone outfitted with a net.

Police are considering use of similar detectors and jamming guns at venues outside Tokyo.

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