Fears Over U.S. Missile Shield in a Japan Suburb Hobble Abe’s Plan

September 6, 2019


The sleepy northwestern Japanese suburb of Araya seemed like the perfect place for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to put a U.S. anti-missile system. The area had reliably backed the ruling party and had first-hand experience of a North Korean rocket flying overhead.

That is, until residents began to worry that Lockheed Martin Corp.’s Aegis Ashore system might make their pocket of homes nestled near rice fields and the sea a prime target for Pyongyang in any conflict. Opposition quickly rallied against the project, helping oust an upper house lawmaker from Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party in July and forcing the Defense Ministry to redo site surveys.

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