AN unidentified submarine was stone cold busted detected in Japanese Territorial waters over the weekend.
The submarine was detected at 6:56 a.m. south of the Bungo Strait, 7 km inside the territorial sea line and some 60 km southwest of Cape Ashizuri in Kochi Prefecture.
The officials said the vessel soon left the area.
The nationality of the submarine was unknown, but the defense officials said it likely did not belong to the United States, Japan’s closest security ally.
“It was very regrettable,” Defense Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said. “We need to do our utmost tracking down the submarine and getting to the bottom of the incident.”
Hayashi suggested he did not consider the incident serious enough to order the Maritime Self-Defense Force to take maritime security operations, an operation the MSDF has taken only twice in the postwar era.
According to the ministry officials, the Aegis destroyer Atago spotted “a periscopelike object” poking out of the water and quickly determined it was of an unidentified submarine based on data it collected with active sonar.
There’s lots of great discussion on this in the interweb, but the obvious question is… How exactly do you determine the nationality of a submarine using active sonar? Other than having the fidelity in the return to determine size (thereby eliminating it as a Nuclear sub) I just don’t get it.
The real question is, will the Japanese media get fired up about it and demand to know who it was? It’d be interesting to see if they did.