Okinawan residents express concern after Chinese missiles fall near fishing spot
Fishing industry workers in Japan expressed concern on August 4 following reports that ballistic missiles fired by China as part of a military exercise landed in waters near the Okinawa islands. , and condemned the act as “dangerous”.
“I did not expect the missiles to land in waters near Japan. This is an unexpectedly large and dangerous exercise,” said Shigenori Takenishi, 60, head of the fishermen‘s association of Japan. the city of Yonaguni, on the night of August 4.
Although no damage was reported, Takenishi said he would ask association-owned fishing boats to stop fishing on August 5. Noting that the Japanese Defense Ministry had not provided any information regarding the details of the military exercise, he said. , “This is a major blunder by the national government. I wish they had prepared a system to alert the public, especially the people of Yonaguni City.”
The Chinese military began its major exercise near Taiwan on Aug. 4, apparently in reaction to a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the area. The ballistic missiles fell in waters under exercise near Yonaguni and Hateruma Islands in Okinawa Prefecture.
Japan’s westernmost island, Yonaguni, is about 110 kilometers from Taiwan. According to the Japanese Ministry of Defense, the missiles fell about 80 km north-northwest of the island, outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Hirotoshi Ogimi, 65, chief director of the Yonaguni City Fishermen’s Association and deputy director of the Yonaguni Defense Association, said the area around the site where the missiles landed is fishing ground where locals regularly go rod fishing.
“It’s so close to where we are fishing. The missiles could land on boats or cause damage on the island. In a case like this, I want the national government to provide solid information and a explanation to the islanders,” he said.
Chinese missiles also fell in Japan’s EEZ near Hateruma Island in Taketomi City, Okinawa Prefecture, according to the Defense Ministry. A 65-year-old business executive living on the island told the Mainichi Shimbun: ‘If missiles have fallen, it poses a threat, but the only information we have is information, so I don’t feel safe. . go anywhere just by making a fuss but I want the city office and the national government to properly provide the islanders with information on whether to evacuate etc.
Regarding the Chinese military exercise, Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki said at a press conference on August 4: “I guess the local residents are extremely anxious. I want the Japanese government to ask the United States and China to engage in sober diplomacy to ensure that residents are not harmed.”
(Japanese original by Nozomu Takeuchi, Naha Bureau; Rika Uemura, Kyushu Cultural News Group; and Keiko Yamaguchi, Kyushu News Department)