TOKYO, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya apologized to Akita Gov. Norihisa Satake on Monday for the ministry's flawed geographical survey that led to the northeastern prefecture being selected as a candidate site for hosting the controversial Aegis Ashore missile defense system.
"I deeply apologize. I have instructed officials to be thorough in preventing a recurrence," Iwaya told Satake at the Akita prefectural government building on Monday.
Satake had previously blasted the government for using erroneous geographical survey data in determining to deploy the missile defense system at the Ground Self-Defense Force's (GSDF) Araya Training Area in Akita City's Araya district, in Akita Prefecture.
Satake said that 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".
A week after saying that the ministry's error had put negotiations back to the starting point, Satake said on Monday, "I feel sad rather than disappointed. I would like the Defense Ministry to take this as setting out again from behind the starting line," he said.