Japanese Authorities Canceled The Plan To Deploy Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Systems
Japanese defense Minister Taro Kono stressed that the discussion on this issue "will be promoted through an exchange of views between the government and the party."
Japanese authorities have decided to cancel the plan to deploy American-made Aegis Ashore missile defense systems in Akita and Yamaguchi prefectures. The announcement appeared on Thursday by Japanese defense Minister Taro Kono at a meeting on security issues of the ruling liberal democratic party.
"As a result of the [June 24] discussion at a meeting of the national security Council, it was decided to cancel the plan to deploy Aegis Ashore complexes in Akita and Yamaguchi prefectures. I apologize for this state of Affairs," NHK quoted Kono as saying. "Given the current situation in the East China sea, it would be inappropriate from the point of view of security policy to rely solely on providing missile defense through ships equipped with Aegis systems."
He also stressed that the discussion on this issue "will be promoted through an exchange of views between the government and the party."
On June 22, the Kyodo News Agency, citing the Japanese Maritime security administration, reported that China's guard ships have been in the area of the Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands in the East China Sea, which Beijing considers its illegally occupied territories, for a record-long time. According to the Department, Chinese guards have been present there for 70 days.
On June 15, the head of the Japanese Military Department announced the end of the Aegis Ashore deployment program. He referred to the fact that when launching missiles from current installations, it is impossible to guarantee the fall of their upper stages strictly within the military base or in the sea, which jeopardizes the safety of the population. Fixing this shortcoming, according to him, will require additional significant expenses and a lot of time. Experts, in turn, point out that the Aegis Ashore systems in the ordered configuration can not intercept ballistic missiles of the latest modifications, as well as cruise missiles.
The US administration has already authorized the sale of two such complexes to Japan. They were supposed to be located in Yamaguchi Prefecture in the South-West of Honshu island and Akita Prefecture in its Northern part. According to Tokyo's calculations, they were supposed to cover virtually the entire territory of the country from the impact of ballistic missiles. At the same time, local authorities have not permitted to install Aegis Ashore, expressing doubts about their safety.
On June 18, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that he intends to start discussing the development of a new course of the national defense strategy in the summer in connection with plans to stop the implementation of the us procurement program and the placement of Aegis Ashore in Japan.