Japan's top government spokesman says distances from residential areas should be a major factor in choosing candidate sites for the deployment of a land-based missile defense system.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga was speaking on Thursday on the review that's underway of potential host sites for the US-made Aegis Ashore system.
Suga said he had instructed the Defense Ministry to include distances from housing in assessing each candidate site.
The ministry is carrying out surveys of potential sites again after many data flaws were found in its initial surveys. Outside experts have now been entrusted with the work.
The ministry was under fire earlier this year for inaccuracies in surveys of the environmental effects of radio waves from radars, as well as incorrect topographical data and other mistakes regarding two favored candidate sites.
Suga said the selection of sites will now be made from scratch. He said the potential sites include Self-Defense Force training areas in Akita and Aomori prefectures and 18 state-owned land plots.
Suga added that he hopes the ministry will make thorough preparations to provide accurate explanations on the selection so it can restore people's trust.