One of the two dedicated government aircraft taking off from Haneda

One of the two dedicated government aircraft taking off from Haneda (Source: Anon/2ch)

The ASDF's seal adorned the inside of the 747's door

The ASDF's seal adorned the inside of the 747's door (Source: Interceptor)

On my way to Hokkaido for the annual New Year family festivities, I happened to spot one of Japan’s dedicated government aircraft, better described (perhaps) by their callsigns, Japanese Air Force One/Two, or their colloquial name, the “Flying Kantei”. I presume it was Prime Minister Noda heading to India (as I spotted the jet on TV later that day), but it was a nice surprise for the usual drudge of flying through Haneda.

The jets, two Boeing 747-400s (registered as JA8091/JA8092), are operated by the 701st Squadron of the Air Self-Defense Force’s Special Airlift Group, based out of Chitose, Hokkaido. Interestingly, the unit relies on the civilian ground support of Japan Airlines. At the rear of the craft, it has ASDF signage, and there is a huge crest of the ASDF on the back of the door.

Read more about the aircraft over at Wikipedia.

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A former contributor to World Intelligence (Japan Military Review), James Simpson joined Japan Security Watch in 2011, migrating with his blog Defending Japan. He has a Masters in Security Studies from Aberystwyth University and is currently living in Kawasaki, Japan. His primary interests include the so-called 'normalization' of Japanese security (i.e. militarization), and the political impact of the abduction issue with North Korea.
James Simpson has 254 post(s) on Japan Security Watch