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SECURITY > Okinawa

Defense Minister apologizes for introduction of ammo to Miyakojima

  • April 3, 2019
  • , Asahi , p. 30
  • JMH Translation

By Hirotaka Kojo


Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya on April 2 said he would temporarily remove mid-range multi-purpose missiles and 81mm mortars from Miyakojima. The Ground Self-Defense Force established a new base on the Okinawan island in March.


Amid opposition to the new base, the Ministry of Defense had only explained at a local briefing session that “small arms and smoke bombs” would be stored at the new base. Local residents had objected to the ministry, saying, “We’ve been tricked,” after learning of the delivery of the ammunition through local media reports.


After a cabinet meeting on April 2, Iwaya told reporters, “I’d like to apologize for the lack of explanation.” According to the defense minister, the ammunition will be stored outside the island. (Abridged)

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