Aomori, Hokkaido governors denounce latest launch

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Hokkaido Gov. Naomichi Suzuki speaks at the Hokkaido prefectural government office on Tuesday morning following a missile launch by North Korea.

Tensions were running high on Tuesday morning when a ballistic missile fired by North Korea flew over Japan, triggering a warning on the J-Alert system.

Transportation was disrupted in the Tohoku region and Hokkaido, affecting school commutes.

“It’s an absolutely intolerable act. Even though no damage has been reported, we will continue to collect information,” said Ushio Yanata, deputy director of the Aomori Prefectural Crisis Management Bureau. The missile flew over the prefecture.

Following reports of the missile launch, officials rushed to the Aomori government building, and the prefectural government set up the crisis management task force at 7:43 a.m.

At the time of the launch, 20 fishing boats were operating in the Sea of Japan and five in the Pacific Ocean. The safety of all of the fishing crews had been confirmed, according to the prefecture.

Hokkaido prefectural officials in the crisis management division were also busy handling the situation, such as contacting municipal offices.

“The firing of a missile over our country is a grave threat. It’s an intolerable, reckless act,” Hokkaido Gov. Naomichi Suzuki said at an emergency meeting on Tuesday at about 10:30 a.m.

According to the Sapporo City Board of Education, some elementary and junior high schools in the city delayed the start of school by about 40 minutes due to safety concerns.

The anxious owner of a large saury fishing boat that operates in the Pacific was eager for information about where the missile had landed, reflecting the concerns of others in the industry.