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Japan’s top government spokesman says he believes in UFOs

TOKYO -- Japan’s top government spokesman said Tuesday that he believes in UFOs.

“Personally, I absolutely believe they exist,” said Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura.

He said there was no other explanation for how the Nazca Lines were drawn in the Peruvian desert. The vast, ancient drawings can really only be properly appreciated from the air, which has led some to claim they are the work of extraterrestrials.

Machimura’s surprise comments came after the government said it had no official knowledge of UFOs from outer space. “The government has not confirmed the existence of ‘unidentified flying objects believed to have flown from outside the Earth’,” it said in response to a question from an opposition lawmaker.

In the absence of such confirmation, “the government is not collecting information on them, exchanging information with other countries or conducting a particular study,” the government said in its first official comment on UFOs.

“We are not considering what measures to take in case ‘unidentified flying objects’ fly over our country,” it said.

The government issued the comment in response to a question from lawmaker Ryuji Yamane of the opposition Democratic Party, who argued Tokyo should try to confirm what UFOs are as many people have said they have witnessed them.

The statement was formally endorsed at Tuesday’s cabinet meeting. Skeptics say UFO sightings are merely aircraft or meteors re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere, rather than visitors from another planet.

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