Fukui gov. wants SDF troops deployed to sites with nuclear reactors

Fukui Gov. Issei Nishikawa asked the Defense Ministry on Monday to permanently deploy Japanese Self-Defense Forces troops to areas in Fukui Prefecture, home to the largest number of nuclear reactors in Japan.

Nishikawa asked Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera at the ministry's headquarters in Tokyo to have Ground Self-Defense Force and Maritime Self-Defense Force personnel stationed in Fukui to brace for a possible nuclear disaster or terrorist attack on nuclear power plants, according to prefectural officials.

Fourteen nuclear reactors are located in Fukui.

"Thinking about current (developments such as) the situation on the Korean Peninsula, we're concerned that areas where nuclear reactors are situated could be terrorist targets," the governor was quoted as saying, urging the central government to have a "strong sense of crisis."

Nishikawa also called for a swift evacuation in the event of a nuclear emergency and legislation that will enable the SDF to join police in protecting facilities such as nuclear plants, the officials said.

Onodera responded that the government will study as to how the SDF and police could work together in such scenarios, they said.