HIROSHIMA -- Ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) heavyweight Wataru Takeshita has suggested that if a North Korean missile plunged into Shimane Prefecture in western Japan, where he has been elected to the Diet, it would be inconsequential.
He was referring to North Korea's threat to launch ballistic missiles that would fly above Shimane, Hiroshima and Kochi prefectures toward the sea around Guam.
"There's a considerable population in Hiroshima, but I was thinking that it'd be insignificant if a missile plunged into Shimane," Takeshita, chairman of the party's decision-making General Council, told a meeting of the LDP Hiroshima chapter on Sept. 3.
Takeshita apparently meant that there is a wide gap in population density between Hiroshima and Shimane prefectures. However, the remark he made amid the rising threat posed by North Korea's missile program could spark criticism as being "irresponsible."
Takeshita has been elected to the House of Representatives from the Shimane No. 2 constituency.