Another N. Korean Missile Landing in Nearby Waters Has Japan Islanders in a Rage

A glowing object falls into the sea as caught by a Sapporo Television Broadcasting Co. camera installed in Esashi, Hokkaido, on Saturday.

Local residents of a Hokkaido island and area fishermen have expressed outrage at the latest instance of a North Korean ballistic missile falling into nearby waters.

The missile that landed in the Sea of Japan off the western coast of Oshima-Oshima Island on Saturday evening only fueled the ire following similar incidences in March and November of last year.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Staff are busy checking for possible damage caused by a North Korean missile at the Hokkaido government office on Saturday evening.

Upon hearing of the missile firing, members of the emergency response section of the Hokkaido prefectural office were hurriedly called together at 6:30 p.m. to assess the situation and hear reports from various locations.

At 8:30 p.m., an emergency meeting was convened. Hokkaido Gov. Naomichi Suzuki, participating online because he was on a business trip, strongly condemned North Korea, saying, “Many fishing boats operate in the vicinity of Oshima-Oshima. This is a reckless action that cannot be tolerated by any means.”

A fisherman in Fukaura, Aomori Prefecture, on the Sea of Japan coast, said with a sigh, “Not again?” Although he was not out to sea at the time the missile fell, he could not contain his anger. “If we were on the water, we would be unable to move and there would be no way to escape. There would be nothing we could do,” he said.

Takuya Yokota, 54, the head of the Association of Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea and younger brother of Megumi Yokota, who was abducted by North Korea a half-century ago at the age of 13, commented, “It is very disappointing that provocations that produce nothing useful are being repeated.”