Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Tuesday that Akita and Yamaguchi prefectures are candidate sites for installations of the Aegis Ashore anti-ballistic missile defense system, naming specific prefectures for the first time.

On Monday regional bureaus of the Defense Ministry contacted the two prefectural governments, asking them each for an opportunity to discuss the possibility of setting up installations related to the ground-based missile interceptor system in the prefectures, Onodera said during a news conference at the ministry.

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