• Kyodo

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The Defense Agency’s senior vice minister, Taro Kimura, apologized Friday for the errant firing of live ammunition toward land from a machinegun on a guided-missile patrol boat at a Maritime Self-Defense Force base in Aomori Prefecture on Tuesday.

Kimura, a Lower House member of the Liberal Democratic Party, made the apology in a meeting with Masashi Sugiyama, mayor of Mutsu, the city that hosts the MSDF’s Ominato Regional District Headquarters.

“An impermissible thing happened. I apologize from the bottom of my heart,” Kimura told the mayor.

At around 7:20 p.m. Tuesday, personnel on the 50-ton guided-missile patrol boat Misairutei-San-Gou (Missile Ship No. 3), which was docked at a pier of the Ominato Regional District Headquarters, fired 10 rounds of 20-mm live ammunition toward land. There are no reports of injuries or property damage as a result of the incident.

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