West Japan Town Mayor Objects to Missile Defense Deployment

Politics

Abu, Yamaguchi Pref., Sept. 20 (Jiji Press)--Norihiko Hanada, mayor of Abu, a town in Yamaguchi Prefecture, clarified on Thursday his opposition to the planned deployment of the Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense system in a neighboring city in the same western Japan prefecture.

"I explicitly state my objection to the deployment," the mayor said during a town assembly meeting, becoming the first head of a municipality involved in the Aegis Ashore project to clarify the stance against the missile shield installation.

The government has picked the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force's Mutsumi training area in the Yamaguchi city of Hagi and Araya training area in the northeastern city of Akita.

Hanada said that having the system to shooting down missiles in Hagi could "substantially damage the peace, safety and security of residents" in Abu.

Meanwhile, the mayor said he will allow the Defense Ministry to conduct on-site surveys on the possible effects of the Aegis Ashore deployment on the town, to obtain information that Abu residents must know.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press