Shooting exercises within the framework of the joint Japanese-American Orient Shield maneuvers that started on Thursday in various parts of Japan were stopped after one of the mortar mines flew out of the range in Shiga Prefecture, the Kyodo news agency reports.
According to the governor of the prefecture, Miyazaki Taizo, the mine fell on a highway passing near the landfill, which is currently closed due to repair work.
“This is an extremely serious incident. We demanded that the self-Defense forces provide information about what happened as soon as possible,” the agency quotes the governor as saying.
In turn, the head of the chiefs of staff of the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces unit in the central part of the country, Hidenori Sakai, said during a visit to the prefecture administration that the servicemen intend to “conduct a thorough investigation of the incident and take all measures to prevent similar situations in the future.”
On Thursday morning, Japan and the United States began joint military exercises Orient Shield, which will be attended by about 3 thousand military personnel. The exercises will be held at bases and training grounds in Japan from June 24 to July 11, they are one of the largest joint maneuvers aimed at improving the effectiveness of joint tactical planning, coordination, and interoperability of the armed forces.