On March 21, a female student at the Akita University of Art in Araya Okawamachi, Akita Prefecture, was slated to give a valedictory speech at the college’s graduation ceremony. According to the Asahi Shimbun on March 31, the unnamed woman wanted to talk partly about the proposed installation of an Aegis Ashore anti-missile system at the nearby Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) training area in Araya Okawamachi. Some locals are opposed to its installation because it is near a residential area.

In her original text, the student touched on the controversy without offering an opinion, saying it was a matter that “couldn’t be ignored.” However, she never got to say those particular words, because after she sent the draft to the head of student affairs, they asked the student if she didn’t mind removing the part about the anti-missile system, since it was a “politically delicate issue.”

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