False: HAARP was used to cause earthquakes in Japan in 2011 and 2007.

By: Arron Williams
March 6 2023

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False: HAARP was used to cause earthquakes in Japan in 2011 and 2007.


The Verdict False

HAARP cannot cause earthquakes and there is no evidence to suggest that the earthquakes in Japan were anything other than natural disasters.

Claim ID 1af59577


A TikTok video shared on Facebook shows conspiracy theorist Benjamin Fulford claiming that the 2007 earthquake in Niigata, Japan, was caused by the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP).

The video consists of different interviews, videos, news broadcasts, and images edited together. Following Fulford's claims about Niigata, the footage shows alien conspiracy theorist Alex Collier in 1995 claiming that the "World Government" will make part of Japan sink. Footage from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan is then shown to suggest this disaster was also caused by HAARP. These claims are used to suggest that natural disasters are actually part of a coordinated attack. The video has over 18,000 views.

In Fact

HAARP, as described on its website, is a project based in Alaska, originally operated by the U.S. Air Force, to study the ionosphere's properties and behaviors using radio transmitters. Operation was transferred in 2015 to the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Fulford claims that HAARP causes earthquakes by shooting microwaves into the ionosphere, which rebound and cause vibrations in the ground or heat up subterranean water.

However, HAARP cannot cause natural disasters or earthquakes, as conspiracy theorists claim. Robert McCoy, director of the Geophysical Institution at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, told Climate Feedback in 2021 that "HAARP is a high-frequency transmitter" that only causes small effects in the ionosphere that last a few seconds, and the facility is only operated for a few hours each year. McCoy stated that "It cannot affect any of the natural phenomena mentioned in the article, such as earthquakes and snowstorms." Conspiracy theories about HAARP causing earthquakes have recently gained traction and a resurgence following the 2023 Turkey-Syria earthquake. Logically has previously investigated numerous HAARP claims and found them to be false.

We traced the viral clip of Fulford to a video he made in 2007. In the clip, Fulford claims that in 2006, he spoke to Heizo Takenaka, a former Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications in Japan, who told Fulford that Japan was threatened with an earthquake weapon by American and European oligarchs. However, beyond Fulford's claim, there are no credible sources to corroborate this. Logically has reached out to Takenaka but has yet to receive a response.

Fulford then claims that he investigated these oligarchs and, as a result, the Japanese Security police told him that because of his actions, Niigata would be hit by an earthquake. He then mentions how an earthquake hit Niigata two days later and claims it was politically timed and motivated. However, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported in 2007 that the earthquake occurred due to deformation in the Okhotsk crust, and the second quake was likely caused by faulting from internal deformation of the subducted Pacific plate. There is no evidence it was a result of a man-made weapon or part of a coordinated politically motivated attack. 

Likewise, the USGS explains that the 2011 earthquake occurred due to shallow thrust faulting on the subduction zone plate boundary between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates.

The Verdict

There is no evidence that either of these earthquakes in Japan were caused by HAARP or part of a coordinated attack, and HAARP is incapable of causing earthquakes. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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