Japan confirms its scrapping of the US anti-missile defense system.

Japan’s National Security Council has endorsed plans to cancel the deployment of two costly land-based US anti-missile defense systems aimed at strengthening the country’s capacity against North Korean threats

TOKYO – Japan’s National Security Council has backed plans to cancel the deployment of two costly land-based US anti-missile defense systems aimed at strengthening the country’s capacity against threats from North Korea, the minister of Thursday said on Thursday. Defense of the country.

Defense Minister Taro Kono said the country will now review its anti-missile defense program and expand its entire defense stance.

The council made its decision on Wednesday, and now the government will need to enter into negotiations with the US on what to do with the payments and the purchase contract already made for the ground Aegis systems.

Kono announced the plan to scrap the systems earlier this month after it was discovered that the security of one of the two planned host communities could not be guaranteed without a hardware redesign that would be too time consuming and costly.

“We were unable to move forward with this project, but there are still threats from North Korea,” Kono said at a press conference on Thursday.

Japan will discuss ways to better protect the country and people from Northern missiles and other threats, he said.

In 2017, the Japanese government approved adding the two Aegis systems on the ground to improve the country’s current defenses consisting of destroyers equipped with Aegis at sea and Patriot missiles on the ground.

Defense authorities have said that the two ground Aegis units could cover Japan entirely from one station in Yamaguchi in the south and another in Akita in the north.

The plan to deploy the two systems had already faced a series of setbacks, including questions about selecting one of the sites, repeated increases in estimated costs of 450 billion yen ($ 4.1 billion) for its 30-year operation and maintenance, and security concerns that led to local opposition.

Kono said Japan signed a contract for almost half the total cost and paid part of it to the United States. He said Japan is trying to make the most of what it has already paid for, although he did not elaborate.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has consistently lobbied to increase Japan’s defense capacity, said last week that in light of the scrapping, the government would need to reconsider Japan’s anti-missile defense program and do more under the security alliance of the country with the United States.

Abe said the government would consider acquiring pre-emptive strike capabilities, a controversial plan that critics say would violate Japan’s waiver-constitution.

Kono also expressed concern Thursday about China’s increasingly assertive activity in the regional seas and skies. He said Chinese Coast Guard ships repeatedly enter and leave Japanese waters around the disputed islands in the East China Sea, and a Chinese submarine recently passed near the southern coast of Japan.

“China is trying to change the status quo unilaterally in the East China Sea, the South China Sea and also with the Indian border and Hong Kong,” said Kono. “It’s easy to make connections on those issues.”


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