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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 June 20 - 26  > Defense Minister faces resistance from governors of candidate prefectures for Aegis Ashore deployment
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2018 June 20 - 26 [POLITICS]

Defense Minister faces resistance from governors of candidate prefectures for Aegis Ashore deployment

June 23, 2018

Defense Minister Onodera Itsunori on June 22 received negative responses separately from the governors of Akita and Yamaguchi prefectures concerning the ministry’s plan to deploy the missile defense system called “Aegis Ashore” to the two prefectures.

Onodera on the day visited the two prefectures to explain about the planned installation of the ground-based anti-missile system in the two prefectures. In the meetings with the governors, Onodera reaffirmed his intention to deploy the Aegis Ashore system under the pretext of the threat from North Korea, although the security environment in northeast Asia has improved due to the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting and other major peace initiatives.

In the talks with Akita Governor Satake Norihisa at the Akita prefectural government office building, Onodera spoke about the ministry’s plan to build Aegis Ashore facilities at a Ground Self-Defense Force training field in Akita City.

Governor Satake handed a written question to the minister. The document points out that as North Korea has turned to dialogue and the threat from the country is diminishing, it is questionable that the missile defense system is necessary. It also asks whether deploying the system to another place other than Akita is possible.

In Yamaguchi Prefecture, Onodera met with Governor Muraoka Tsugumasa at the prefectural government office building to inform him of the ministry’s plan to construct an Agis Ashore site in a GSDF training area in Hagi City in the prefecture. Muraoka expressed doubt about the need for the anti-missile system deployment, citing the changes in the security situation surrounding the Korean Peninsula. Onodera insisted that the risk of attack from North Korea remains unchanged. He said that it will take at least five years to set up an Aegis Ashore site, but that North Korea can change its policy in a moment.

During each of the two meetings, citizens opposing the Aegis Ashore deployment held a rally in front of the prefectural government office building.

Past related articles:
> JCP Kokuta demands cancellation of plan to deploy land-based Aegis Ashore [June 7, 2018]
> Local residents voice concern over gov’t plan to set up missile defense facility in their community [February 15, 2018]
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