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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 June 5 - 11  > Local residents angry over false data concerning Aegis Ashore deployment plan
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2019 June 5 - 11 [SDF]

Local residents angry over false data concerning Aegis Ashore deployment plan

June 6 and 9, 2019

The Defense Ministry on June 8 held a briefing session for residents in Akita City to provide information regarding its plan to deploy the Aegis Ashore missile defense system amid growing public distrust and anger over false data in the ministry’s explanation about the deployment plan.

The erroneous facts were found in a report published by the ministry on May 27 which stated that the Ground Self-Defense Force Araya training field in Akita City is suitable as a site for the Aegis Ashore ground-based anti-missile system.

In the report, the Defense Ministry examined 20 locations, including the Araya training field, as candidate sites for the Aegis Ashore deployment. It noted that nine of the 20 potential sites were found to be unsuitable on the grounds that mountains nearby constitute an obstacle for radars on the land-based missile interceptor system.

However, in the examination of the nine locations, the minimum elevation angle for Aegis Ashore radar scans was larger than the actual figures. In one case, the angle was 15 degrees according to the report, but in reality, it was four degrees. The Defense Ministry on June 5 admitted to the error and offered an apology. However, there has been widespread criticism that the ministry allegedly fabricated the data in order to push forward with the planned deployment of the Aegis Ashore to the GSDF Araya base.

In the June 8 briefing session in Akita, many local residents criticized the Defense Ministry for intending to bulldoze through the planned deployment. One of participants said to ministry officials, “False facts have been found in the report. Do you think it is appropriate to hold this meeting without investigating?” The officials paid little attention to outcries from the participants and explained the report as scheduled, which fueled residents’ anger.

A female participant said that a missile defense system, which is closely linked to war, should not be set up in Akita and demanded the cancellation of the deployment plan.

Past related articles:
> Abe gov’t should give up on deploying Aegis Ashore system to Japan [August 2, 2018]
> Defense Minister faces resistance from governors of candidate prefectures for Aegis Ashore deployment [June 23, 2018]
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