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Japan scraps Aegis Ashore deployment, government confirms

AAMDS site in Redzikowo, Poland
US Navy photo of the Aegis Ashore missile defense system site in Poland

Japan has backed up its previous plans to cancel the deployment of land-based Aegis Ashore missile defense systems, the country’s defense minister revealed on June 25.

The decision was announced following a meeting of the National Security Council on June 24.

One of the main reasons for this decision is the fact that one of the two systems would pose a danger to the planned host community, while a modification to the system would be “too costly and time consuming”.

The main issue is the impossibility of ensuring that the boosters used for launching the missiles from the system would land precisely on military base territories or in the sea.

“We couldn’t move forward with this project, but still there are threats from North Korea,” defense minister Taro Kono told reporters on Thursday.

Japan will discuss ways to better protect the country and the people from the North’s missiles and other threats, he added.

Japan’s prime minister earlier indicated that the country could acquire a preemptive strike capability.

The US Defense Security Agency cleared Japan’s $2.1 billion procurement of the systems in 2019, after Japan’s government approved it in 2017.