Japan Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya apologizes over errors in Aegis deployment survey
Japan Times -- Jun 18
Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya apologized Monday to Akita Gov. Norihisa Satake for errors in the ministry’s geographical survey that was used to select the northeastern prefecture as a candidate for hosting a U.S.-developed missile defense system.

“I deeply apologize. I have instructed (officials) to be thorough in preventing a recurrence,” Iwaya told Satake at the prefectural government building.

The apology came a week after the Akita governor criticized the ministry’s erroneous survey in connection with the deployment of the land-based Aegis Ashore missile defense system, saying, “We are back to square one on this issue.”

“I feel sad rather than disappointed,” Satake told Iwaya. “I would like the Defense Ministry to take this as setting out again from behind the starting line.”

Iwaya said the ministry will conduct an on-site survey and consider using experts to correct the figures after numerical mistakes were found in the elevation angles of mountains in the geographical survey calculated based on map data from Google Earth.

He also sought the governor’s understanding on the need to deploy the defense system, saying, “We believe Aegis Ashore is essential.”

The ministry, which intends to deploy two interceptor batteries to counter the threat of North Korean missiles, has listed a Ground Self-Defense Force training area straddling Abu and Hagi in Yamaguchi Prefecture and another exercise area in the Araya district of Akita Prefecture as potential sites for the systems.

Satake told reporters after the meeting that he cannot accept at this point the ministry’s explanation for its selection of the GSDF area in Akita as a potential site.

The ministry has said the incorrect information was released after elevation angles of mountains were calculated based on figures measured by a ruler without noticing that the scales of maps used for checking height and distance were different.

陸上配備型迎撃ミサイルシステム『イージス・アショア』をめぐる“ずさんな調査”や職員の居眠りなど一連の問題を受け、岩屋防衛大臣は17日、秋田県の佐竹知事と面会し謝罪した。佐竹知事は「防衛省の作業はマイナスのスタートだ」と抗議した。岩屋大臣は17日午後には秋田市の穂積市長とも面会した。ここでは津波の影響について指摘があった。防衛省の報告書が“配備に適さない”とした国有地のうち8カ所は、津波の『影響有』『影響大』と記されている。イージス・アショアを設置する計画となっている陸上自衛隊の『新屋演習場』については空欄で、津波の影響がないことになっていた。しかし、秋田県の津波ハザードマップを合わせると、レーダーやミサイル発射装置を置く予定の場所は、一部が2~5メートルの浸水域と重なる。津波の問題については、10日の住民説明会でも質問が出ていたが、明確な答えはなかった。防衛省は13日になって一部が津波の浸水域にかかることを認めたが、土地のかさ上げをする予定だったので影響はないとの見解を示した。“後出し”の説明に住民は「ここも津波に関して“不適”。まさしく『新屋』ありきだ」と不信感を口にする。岩屋大臣は他の国有地でも、現地で測量調査をする考えを示したが、新屋演習場については「適地」との姿勢は崩していない。
News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
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