Japan to forge ahead with Aegis Ashore deployment plan despite flawed survey data, local opposition

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-11 19:17:15|Editor: xuxin
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TOKYO, June 11 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya on Tuesday rejected a proposal for another survey to be conducted in an area in Japan’s northeast shortlisted to host the controversial Aegis Ashore missile interceptor system, despite flawed data being used to select candidate locations’ suitability.

Iwaya told a press briefing on the matter that carrying out another survey on the Ground Self-Defense Force's (GSDF) Araya Training Area in Akita City’s Araya district, in Akita Prefecture, was unnecessary as the government’s survey has already determined the area to be suitable to deploy the Aegis Ashore system.

The defense minister added, however, that sections of the survey compiled using faulty data would be reevaluated and explained to local authorities and people in Akita.

He also said he planned to visit Akita Prefecture in person to try and seek the understanding of the local people for the deployment of the controversial missile launcher.

On Monday, the Defense Ministry was strongly condemned by Akita Gov. Norihisa Satake who said the government’s plan to potentially deploy the weapons system in Akita is “truly regrettable” and that using flawed data was an “extremely questionable” stance taken by the Defense Ministry.

Satake also said that deliberations on whether Akita would host the contentious missile interceptor system were “back to square one.”

In response, Iwaya said Tuesday that he accepts the remarks made by Satake and will respond to them sincerely in a bid to regain the prefecture’s and the people’s trust.

In addition, the ministry has also come under fire recently for one of its officials falling asleep during a public meeting in Akita City on Saturday, held to try and gain the understanding of the people in the region about the possible deployment of the missile system and to help allay safety concerns.