Japan OKs missile defence

Japan OKs missile defence

"North Korea's nuclear and missile development has become a more serious and imminent threat to our security, entering in a new phase", a Cabinet statement said.

Japan now has a two-layer missile shield: a ship-based Aegis system aimed at stopping short and intermediate-range ballistic missiles mid-flight, and ground-based PAC-3 interceptors to destroy warheads in their final stages of flight.

Officials with the Russian Ministry for Foreign Affairs called the deployment of U.S. missile defense systems in Japan a violation of the treaty between the USSR and the United States, while Tokyo facilitates the initiative, Mikhail Ulyanov, Director of the Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control at the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Japan already has two layers of missile defenses, including Aegis-equipped ships and land-based Patriot batteries.

Japan's government, on Tuesday, chose to beef up its missile defence systems to ward off the rising threat of Asian neighbour, North Korea, local media reported.




Aegis Ashore is a land-based missile defense system that is capable of intercepting ballistic missiles above the atmosphere during the midcourse phase of a hostile ballistic missile's flight.

Each Aegis Ashore battery is estimated to cost just under 100 billion yen, defense ministry officials told a meeting of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on December 12, Kyodo News reported.

The government believes that the deployment of the ground-based missile interceptor system will enable Japan to deal with attacks from North Korea at any time. Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump urged Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to purchase more U.S. military equipment. Last month, the communist regime fired a powerful intercontinental ballistic missile toward northern Japan that experts believed is capable of targeting the USA mainland.

The systems are expected to be deployed at the proving grounds of the Japanese armed forces in the northern prefecture of Akita and in the southwestern prefecture of Yamaguchi by 2023, but the country may accelerate their deployment.

The new Aegis stations may not come with a powerful radar, dubbed Spy-6, which is being developed by the United States. The Defense Ministry also studied another USA anti-missile system, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, but chose Aegis Ashore due to its cost-effectiveness and other factors, officials said.

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