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Defense Ministry to redo surveys for Aegis Ashore deployment

  • August 28, 2019
  • , Jiji Press , 7:28 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, Aug. 28 (Jiji Press) — Japan’s Defense Ministry presented a detailed plan on Wednesday for renewed surveys at candidate sites for deploying the Aegis-Ashore land-based missile defense system.

The new surveys will be conducted after the ministry’s use of flawed data when giving explanations to a local government for the deployment came to light.

The Japanese government has chosen the Ground Self-Defense Force’s Mutsumi training area in Hagi, in the western prefecture of Yamaguchi, and the GSDF’s Araya training area, in the northeastern city of Akita, as candidate sites to host the missile shield.

The ministry explained the new survey plans to the Akita and Yamaguchi prefectural governments.

It is likely to take six and a half months to report the results of the survey in Akita, the ministry said.

The central government apparently faces more difficulties to meet its goal of starting operations of the Aegis Ashore system in fiscal 2023.

The ministry will conduct laser surveys in cooperation with private organizations using aircraft at the Araya training area and other 19 potential locations, all state-owned land plots, in the northeastern prefectures of Akita, Aomori, and Yamagata.

The ministry will open bidding for the surveys as early as September.

For the Mutsumi training area, the nearby hill’s altitude will be measured, which is expected to take two months, the ministry said.

In data presented to the Akita prefectural government, mistakes in angles at proposed radar sites other than the Araya training area, and nearby mountain peaks were found. Local opposition has been rising due to the flawed data.

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