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Abe's flight paths put online due to security breach

Updated: 2014-09-05 08:42
By Agence France-Presse in Tokyo (China Daily)

Tokyo admitted on Thursday that details about the flight path and exact location of the Japanese prime minister's plane had been posted on the Internet for anyone to see.

The country's defense ministry hurried to fix the breach, but not before Flightradar 24 - a website and mobile app that enables users to track air traffic around the world - carried details of Shinzo Abe's official flights abroad.

Using the application, which processes data sent from aircraft, anyone with a smartphone could have seen where official planes - which carry the prime minister as well as the emperor and empress - were going.

The ministry, which is in charge of the planes, does not normally disclose details of such flights for security concerns. But newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun noted that the real-time coordinates and altitudes of Japanese Air Force One and Two, which always fly together, were available online.

The ministry asked Flightradar 24 to make changes, a defense ministry spokesman said.

"We don't consider it would have seriously affected the safety of official flights, but it was not preferable that undisclosed information was made openly available to the public," the spokesman said.

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