Akita, June 6 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s Defense Ministry has shown the Akita prefectural government flawed survey data over the planned deployment of an Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense system in the northeastern prefecture, according to ministry officials.
Defense Councillor Masaki Fukasawa visited the prefectural assembly Wednesday to explain that the data contained nine mistakes.
The problem “seriously damages” the relationship of trust between the prefecture and the state, Governor Norihisa Satake said in a statement.
The ministry plans to deploy a radar-equipped Aegis Ashore unit in the Ground Self-Defense Force’s Araya training area in Akita, the capital of the prefecture.
On May 27, the ministry told the prefecture that 19 possible sites other than the Araya training area were unfit for Aegis Ashore deployment.
Of them, nine were judged inappropriate because of the presence of mountains nearby, which block radio signals. But the judgment was based on wrong survey data.
After recalculation, four of the nine have been found to meet requirements, but the four are still considered unfit because of other constraints, ministry officials said.
At a news conference Wednesday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the problem affects the credibility of the results of the central government’s examination of possible sites for Aegis Ashore units.
“I hope this kind of mistake will never happen again,” he said, urging the ministry to take full preventive measures.