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.

News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
Oct 16
Authorities in Japan are still trying to get a handle on the extent of the damage after Typhoon Hagibis tore through the country. At least 74 people have been confirmed dead. (NHK)
Oct 16
NHK has learned that more than 13,000 homes were flooded due to Typhon Hagibis which swept across Japan. (NHK)
Oct 16
As a fuller picture of the damage from Typhoon Hagibis emerges, Japan faces weeks of delays in restoring some train service, but supply chains weathered the storm relatively well, attesting to the rise of disaster planning. (Nikkei)
Oct 16
Japan manages a rare feat for a developed country when it comes to feeding its children -- high scores for nutrition but very low obesity rates. One major key? School lunches. (Japan Today)
Oct 15
Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka rank among the world's best 10 large cities -- with the Japanese capital topping the list for a fourth successive year -- according to U.S. luxury and lifestyle travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler. (Japan Today)
Oct 14
A Tokyo Fire Department helicopter rescuing a 77-year-old woman in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, who had been isolated because of flooding caused by Typhoon Hagibis, accidentally dropped her about 40 meters to the ground because her rescuers did not properly attach her to the rope when they were attempting to winch her to safety during the botched operation. (Japan Times)
Oct 14
Japan captain Michael Leitch said Sunday's historic win over Scotland at the Rugby World Cup was the Brave Blossoms' way of helping the nation in the aftermath of Typhoon Hagibis and thanking those that helped put the game on. (Kyodo)
Oct 14
Japan has canceled its first fleet review of the new Reiwa era as the Self-Defense Forces support areas of the country battered by Typhoon Hagibis. (Nikkei)
Oct 12
In the month of October Japan celebrates “Sports Day” which is the anniversary of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and a holiday to inspire exercise for all. Around this time, schools all over the country hold Sports Festivals where they take part in a variety of physical activities from dancing to relay races. (soranews24.com)
Oct 11
Rugby World Cup organizers announced Thursday that two crucial pool games scheduled to take place on Saturday have been canceled to avoid the impact of a massive super typhoon set to hit the country. (Japan Times)