Media says Japan intends to cancel the plan to deploy US missile defense system

The Japanese government intends to cancel the plan for the deployment of American ground-based missile defense systems Aegis Ashore during the upcoming week of the meeting of the National Security Council, the NHK television channel reports.

Media says Japan intends to cancel the plan to deploy US missile defense system

“Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and senior ministers are likely to hold a national security council this week and annul the plan”, – the channel said, citing sources in government circles.

Earlier this week, the head of the Japanese Ministry of Defense, Taro Kono, announced the halt to the deployment of ground-based missile defense systems in Akita prefectures in the north-west of the country and in Yamaguchi in the south-west until 2023, the radius of these systems, as expected, could cover the whole country. The Minister argued that the adjustments necessary to ensure that rocket boosters fall after launching strictly within the boundaries of the test site, and not into residential quarters, will require too much financial cost and time.

After that, a discussion began in the ranks of parliamentarians on how to fill the formed “defense vacuum”. One option was the proposal to purchase long-range cruise missiles. It was also not clear whether the decision of the Government of Japan was temporary or final.

The United States, in turn, stated that they consider the plan to deploy the Aegis Ashore ground-based missile defense system in Japan “stopped”, but not canceled. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the country’s further security strategy will be considered this summer.

The decision to deploy two American Aegis Ashore ground systems in Japan was made by the government in 2017 against the background of continued launches of North Korean missiles. They were planned to be deployed in Akita prefectures in the northwest and in Yamaguchi in the southwest of the country. In this case, as expected, the radius of their action could cover all of Japan. The cost of each installation was estimated at 100 billion yen (about $890 million), and the commissioning was planned until 2023.

Russia has repeatedly made it clear that such intentions of Japan do not improve the situation in the field of strategic stability in the region and cannot but be taken into account when negotiating with Tokyo on the issues of a peace treaty.

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