Japan: AEGIS Ashore complexes cannot intercept ballistic and cruise missiles

TOKYO, (BM) – Japanese authorities have decided to cancel the plan to deploy US-made AEGIS Ashore missile defense systems in Akita and Yamaguchi Prefectures, has learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

Read more: Japan refuses to deploy US air missile defense systems on its territory

This was announced 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 the meeting of the National Security Council, it was decided to annul the plan to deploy Aegis Ashore complexes in Akita and Yamaguchi prefectures. I will forgive you for this state of affairs,” Kono quoted NHK as saying. “Given the current the situation in the East China Sea, from the point of view of security policy, it would be inadvisable to rely solely on providing missile defense through ships equipped with Aegis complexes. “

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, Kyodo, citing the Japanese Maritime Safety Authority, reported that China’s patrol ships were record-breaking in the Tokyo-controlled Senkaku (Diaoyu-dao) Islands in the East China Sea, which Beijing considers to be its illegally occupied territories. According to management, Chinese watchdogs have been present there for 70 days.

On June 15, the head of the Japanese military department announced the termination 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 booster blocks strictly within the military base or at sea, which jeopardizes the safety of the population.

Read more: The First of Two 27DDG Destroyers Ordered by Japan Is Launched

Correction of this drawback, he said, will require additional significant costs and a lot of time. Experts, in turn, indicate that the Aegis Ashore complexes in the ordered configuration cannot 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 southwest of Honshu Island and in Akita Prefecture in its northern part. According to Tokyo, they were supposed to cover virtually the entire territory of the country from the impact of ballistic missiles. At the same time, local authorities did not give permission to install Aegis Ashore, expressing doubts about their safety.

On June 18, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that he intends to begin discussions in the summer on the development of a new course for the national defense strategy in connection with plans to halt the implementation of the US procurement and deployment of Aegis Ashore in Japan.

Read more: Another Successful Intercept Test of the SM-3 Block IIA Missile in Development

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