01:52 GMT28 February 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Norihiko Hanada, the mayor of the Japanese town Abu, said on Thursday he was opposed to the deployment of Aegis Ashore component of the US ballistic missile defense system next to the town, NHK reported.

    The mayor argued that such a deployment could be detrimental to the safety and security of the town residents, the NHK broadcaster reported.

    READ MORE: Japan's Abe Wins Party Leadership Vote, Retains Position of Prime Minister

    According to the outlet, the town's assembly has unanimously voted to back the residents' petition against such a deployment.

    The government wants to set up an Aegis Ashore unit at a military training range in the city of Hagi, next to Abu, while another unit is expected to be installed in the city of Akita.

    In March, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said, in response to concerns voiced by Russia, that the system was needed to ensure Japan's protection against North Korea's missile and nuclear capabilities. Pyongyang has launched several missile and nuclear tests in the last few years. However, North Korea has not had one test since the beginning of 2018 as its relationship with South Korea began to improve.


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