Aomori Governor Wants Misawa Base To Halt Drills

Aomori governor wants Misawa base to halt drills

The governor of Aomori Prefecture in northern Japan wants a US military base to suspend drills after a fighter jet accidentally dropped an inert bomb.

An F-16 stationed at the US Misawa Air Base dropped the 230-kilogram device on private land near a gunnery range north of the base on Wednesday. The US military has now suspended training with inert bombs at the base.

Aomori Governor Shingo Mimura met Defense Minister Taro Kono on Friday.

Mimura said he told Kono to ask the US military to suspend drills at the base until the cause of the accident is identified and preventive measures are taken.

Mimura said the inert bomb fell on private land near elementary and junior high schools, and there could have been a serious accident.

Kono responded that his ministry will make the request to the US military.

Mimura told reporters after the meeting that people in Aomori are seriously concerned about the accident, which has raised doubts about the US military's safety measures. He said he wants the US military to conduct thorough safety checks.