Aviation experts from Japan's Defence Agency have started a technical examination of the Soviet MIG-25 "Foxbat" jet which landed at Hakodate Airport in northern Japan on Monday (6 September).
LV and SV Helicopter taking Russian pilot to helicopter helipad (2 shots)
SV PAN and CU pilot out of building with blanket over head and into car, car leaves surrounded by newsmen
LV ZOOM IN People on MIG aircraft at Hakodate
SV ZOOM IN PAST People arriving at airfield
CU Soviet officials
LV & CU Aircraft on tarmac with temporary hangar being built around it (4 shots)
CU European newsmen and cameramen (2 shots)
LV & CU Aircraft being covered (2 shots)
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Background: Aviation experts from Japan's Defence Agency have started a technical examination of the Soviet MIG-25 "Foxbat" jet which landed at Hakodate Airport in northern Japan on Monday (6 September).
SYNOPSIS: On Tuesday night (7 September) the jet's pilot was taken from Hakodate to Tokyo by helicopter. Twenty-nine-year old Lieutenant Viktor Ivanovich Belenko had told police shortly after he landed the jet that he wanted to seek political asylum in the United States. When Belenko arrived in Tokyo he was taken from the helicopter with a blanket over his head. It's expected he will soon be flown to the U.S., where President Ford has said he is ready to grant Belenko asylum.
Japan has rejected a Soviet request for the immediate return of the aircraft, and early Wednesday morning (8 September) workmen were seen constructing a make-shift hangar around it at Hakodate airport. Informal requests to examine the aircraft have been made by some NATO countries, but Japan's response to the requests is not known. However, it is known that on Wednesday (8 September) 20 Japanese air force experts began their own examination of the MIG-25. Japan's Defence Agency says the inspection is being made at the request of a prosecutor seeking to determine whether Lieutenant Belenko violated any laws with his sudden arrival in Japan.
At the examination got under way, Soviet officials were at the airport. They asked to go aboard the plane but the request was refused. However, several individuals - identified by the Japanese Broadcasting Corporation as British, Italians and French - were there, freely taking photographs and filming the grounded jet. Japan's Foreign Ministry, concerned about its relations with the Soviet Union, is treating the whole affair with utmost caution.