Air traffic controllers in Fukuoka let two visiting junior high-school students issue radio instructions to the pilots of two passenger jets en route to the city's airport, Japan's Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry revealed on October 12. The ministry added that the controllers' supervisors made an effort to conceal the incident. The students' unauthorized ATC communications took place on October 6 but the ministry said it was unaware of the incidents for several days because the ATC supervisors initially tried to conceal them by asking the teenagers not to tell anyone.
A Kyodo News item run by The Japan Times quoted Kiyoshi Tsutsumi, head of the ministry's Air Traffic Control Division, as saying that the ministry will investigate and deal with the matter "strictly." Japan's Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry bans unqualified parties from engaging in air traffic control operations. Despite two senior controllers asking the students not to tell anyone about their experience after the students thanked them for the opportunity, the news spread on October 7 when the students spoke again about their experience at a debriefing attended by workers from each Fukuoka ATC section hosting the students' educational trip.