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Coastguard, fishermen on fears of North Korea launch



(1 Apr 2009) SHOTLIST
Akita, Japan – 01 April 2009
1. Japanese National Coast Guard ship docked at Akita Funagawa port
2. Close up of boat’s radar
3. Mid of crew
4. Pan from ship to port
5. National Coast Guard ship going on daily patrol
6. Aerial of Akita city and its port
7. Aerial of Akita’s coast line
8. National Coast guard ship on daily patrol
9. SOUNDBITE: (Japanese) Sueko Meguro, owner of noodle shop and resident of Akita:
“The issue is not my concern. If they want to launch it, they should go ahead. If there are any casualties, then I would feel bad.”
10. Various of map indicating the warning zone on National Coast Guard’s internet site
11. Various of Tennocho fisherman’s wharf
12. Mid of fisherman on his boat
13. SOUNDBITE (Japanese) Masami Fujiwara, local fisherman:
“I cannot trust our government. Taro Aso must directly go to North Korea to have talks with Kim to resolve the problem. This is unacceptable.”
14. Tilt up from fishing net to elderly couple pulling it
15. SOUNDBITE: (Japanese) Ikuko Fujiwara, wife of fisherman:
“I am indeed worried. Who knows where this missile will land.”
16. SOUNDBITE: (Japanese) Katsusaburo Fujiwara, 77, local fisherman:
“I suppose I will be taking days off work (for when the launch occurs).”
Araya military base, Akita – 31 March 2009
17. Mid of PAC-3 (Patriot Advanced Capability-3) launcher
18. Wide of Araya base with PAC-3 missile launcher facing the Sea of Japan
STORYLINE:
There were mixed reactions among local residents in the northern Japanese city of Akita on Wednesday, where missile interceptors have been deployed ahead of a North Korean rocket launch planned for April 4-8.
Some voiced little concern over the possible launch, while others said it was up to the government to resolve the problem.
Akita is located on the northern coast of Sea of Japan, an area 130 kilometres from the ‘danger zone’ at sea designated by North Korea for the satellite or missile launch.
North Korea says it will send a communications satellite into orbit on a multi-stage rocket between April 4 and 8.
But the US, South Korea and Japan think the communist regime is using the launch to test long-range missile technology, and have warned Pyongyang it would face sanctions under a UN Security Council resolution banning the country from ballistic activity.
Japan has deployed battleships and Patriot missile interceptors off its northern coast to shoot down any rocket debris that the North has said might fall over the area.
Nuclear-armed North Korea warned Japan on Tuesday that intervening in Pyongyang’s impending rocket launch would be considered an act of war.
Tokyo has said it is only protecting its territory and has no intention of trying to shoot down the rocket itself, but North Korea said it is not convinced and accused Japan of inciting militarism at home to justify developing a nuclear weapons program of its own.
The likelihood of the rocket debris falling on Japan was low but the national coast guard was resuming their usual daily exercises for the security of the Akita port.
A map of the ‘danger zone’ at sea was released by the National Coast Guard on the internet but has yet to inform the local fishermen if there are any directions for security or evacuation on the day of the launch.
No immediate alerts or security systems have been announced, but Akita’s local authorities will hold meetings with officials tomorrow and are preparing for any precautions the city and their residents must take.
Japan’s parliament on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution urging North Korea to refrain from a planned rocket launch.

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