There are multiple claims circulating about an alleged Directed Energy Weapon fired into Sakurajima volcano in Japan – apparently causing it to erupt harder. These claims are false.
Typical image associated with the claim:
The image is a screen capture from a real video (2021). There are several videos, some dating back to 2017, showing the same beam.
What’s is this beam?
Kyoto University Disaster Prevention Research Institute has used Lidar in ash cloud observations since 2014. Lidar is a method for determining ranges (variable distance) by targeting an object with a laser and measuring the time for the reflected light to return to the receiver.
The research institute is using two Lidars for observations as shown in the image below: SVO and KUR. Image credit: MDPI.
Related research: Seasonal Variations of Volcanic Ash and Aerosol Emissions around Sakurajima Detected by Two Lidars.
Note: there are also videos and photographs of something flying in the sky near the volcano. Many posts claim that these videos and photos shows UFOs, possibly related to DEW. These claims are also false: they are just meteorites / fireballs observed near Sakurajima. One example time-lapse video:
Big thanks to Scott / UfoOfInterest who worked with me on this fact check. See e.g.