Because of the unexpected arrival of a Soviet MIG-25 Jet and its defecting pilot at Hakodate airport on Monday (6 September), the Japanese government now finds itself embroiled in a diplomatic wrangle with the Soviet Union.
GV ZOOM INTO: MIG Foxbat on tarmac under tarpaulin.
CU: still photo of Russian pilot.
GV: officials covering jet. (2 shots)
SV: police on guard
GV: officials around jet and other arriving on tarmac in car. (5 shots)
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Background: Because of the unexpected arrival of a Soviet MIG-25 Jet and its defecting pilot at Hakodate airport on Monday (6 September), the Japanese government now finds itself embroiled in a diplomatic wrangle with the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union has demanded the return of the jet, but so far Japan has refused to comply with the demand.
SYNOPSIS: The crisis started when the fighter plane, nicknamed "Foxbat" by western military experts, landed in Northern Japan. Its pilot, identified as 29-year old First Lieutenant Viktor Ivanovich Belenko, was taken into custody by Japanese officials Shortly afterwards Belenko told the police he wished to defect to the United States.
Officials from the Soviet Embassy in Tokyo have asked to interview the would-be defector but Belenko has refused to see them. On Monday night the plane was moved to the far end of the airport and covered with a tarpaulin. The police have thrown a heavy security cordon around it and won't allow Japanese or American military authorities near it. However on Tuesday morning (7 September) some police officials were seen on the top of the plane examining its cockpit and taking measurements. A spokesman said the examination was to determine whether the jet's fuel tanks were empty - the reason given by the pilot for his emergency landing. Meanwhile Lieutenant Belenko has ben flown to Tokyo to await a final decision on his request for political asylum in the United States.