• Kyodo

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Defense Agency chief Gen Nakatani visited a rehabilitation center here Monday and apologized for an accident in which an F-4 fighter jet fired nearly 200 training rounds at the facility during an air drill in June.

“I apologize from my heart,” Nakatani was quoted as saying by Daihichi Nagasawa, director of the rehabilitation center. Nakatani also reportedly bowed to people at the center and explained that he and the agency are making efforts to determine the cause of the accident.

The June 25 accident took place during an Air Self-Defense Force exercise over Eniwa in western Hokkaido when an F-4 fighter jet fired 188 rounds from its 20mm high-speed cannon while flying at an altitude of 2,500 meters.

The F-4 involved belongs to the Southwestern Composite Air Division based in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture.

Some of the shells, which are 7.7 cm long and have a diameter of 2 cm, damaged the rehabilitation center, its parking lot, cars and other objects.

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