Defense Chief Apologizes to Yamaguchi Pref. for Aegis Errors

Politics

Yamaguchi, July 3 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya visited the prefectural government of Yamaguchi, western Japan, on Wednesday to apologize for using flawed data when giving explanations about a possible deployment location in the prefecture for the Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense system.

"We've created confusion and misunderstandings," Iwaya said to Yamaguchi Governor Tsugumasa Muraoka and others. "We're very sorry for causing worry."

In May, the Defense Ministry explained to the prefecture its plan to possibly deploy the defense system to the Ground Self-Defense Force' Mutsumi training area in Hagi, Yamaguchi. But information given by the ministry on the altitudes of elevated areas near the site differed from those published by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan.

The minister also met with Norihiko Hanada, mayor of the town of Abu, which neighbors Mutsumi training area.

Hanada called on Iwaya to abandon the deployment plan, saying, "Our town's all-out opposition remains completely unchanged."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press