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SECURITY

Akita governor, mayor critical of Defense Ministry on deployment of Aegis Ashore

  • June 19, 2018
  • , Kahoku Shimpo digital
  • JMH Translation

Governor Norihisa Satake of Akita Prefecture commented at a regular news conference on June 18 on the briefing given by the Defense Ministry on the deployment of Aegis Ashore. He voiced the criticism that, “We did not receive answers that are convincing to the local people. We are talking at cross purposes.” He indicated that he will present Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera with a set of written questions when he visits on June 22.

 

The Defense Ministry held a briefing on June 17 for representatives of the local residents near the Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) Araya Training Area, a candidate site for Aegis Ashore deployment.

 

To the local citizens’ questions on their concern about electromagnetic waves and other effects, ministry officials kept saying: “We will give a thorough explanation.” Satake called this a “verbal gimmick.” He stated: “There will, naturally, be risks. We want them to tell us measures to reduce such risks.”

 

As to the plan to conduct site survey from this summer, Satake maintained his position that “the prefectural government will not be able to refuse,” stressing, however, that, “The question is how to ensure the local people’s safely. Unless I am personally convinced, I would not be able to agree to the deployment.”

 

Mayor Motomu Hozumi of Akita City was also questioned on the Defense Ministry’s response during general interpellation at the regular city assembly session on June 18. He indicated his displeasure that “rational answers were not given on questions regarding the necessity of this facility and the selection process of deployment sites.” He asked for concrete data on comparison with other SDF facilities, impact on daily life, and related matters.

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