TOKYO -- Jets from Japan's Blue Impulse aerobatics team apparently stained at least 300 cars with dye on Aug. 24, the day of the Tokyo Paralympic Games' opening ceremony, by spraying colored smoke at low altitudes.
The Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) announced on Aug. 30 that three reserve Blue Impulse jets, which had been flying in the vicinity of the team's six-jet performance over central Tokyo on the Paralympics' opening day, improperly sprayed smoke in three colors just before landing at the ASDF's Iruma Base in Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo.
The colored smoke was supposed to be used at altitudes higher than 300 meters. But the three reserve jets sprayed it at altitudes between about 135 and 30 meters, from the start of their descent to the base until just before landing. The pilots said that they had wanted to use all their dye, the ASDF stated.
Based on inquiries made to the ASDF and other information, particles from the colored smoke -- each a maximum of about 0.5 millimeters in diameter -- landed on at least 300 cars around the base. As the dyes cannot be removed with water or detergents, the cars must be repainted. The ASDF also stated that the amounts of dye did not present health or environmental risks.
The Ministry of Defense is accepting inquiries about the matter by phone between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays at 03-3268-3111 (ext. 60158 or 61092, in Japanese).
(Japanese original by Yoshitake Matsuura, Tokyo City News Department)