Japan to Deploy Aegis Ashore Amid Increased North Korean Threat
The Japanese Defense Ministry has decided to consider introducing of Aegis Ashore, the land-based version of Aegis ballistic missile defense system, in the wake of North Korea's advancing missile and nuclear programs, local media reported Thursday.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – According to the NHK broadcaster, the Defense Ministry has confirmed its plans to introduce the US-made land-based defense system in order to strengthen the country's defense capabilities, and has included related costs in the budgetary allocation request for the next fiscal year. The broadcaster added that the ministry also approved its initial plans to increase the number of Aegis-equipped destroyers from four to five by March 2018, saying that all the five vessels would be ready by the end of this year.
Besides, the ministry has also decided on deployment of advanced radar system, protecting satellites used by Japan and the United States from the space debris, as well as on development of a radar system that detects stealth fighters, and has included all the related costs in its budgetary allocation request for the next fiscal year, the broadcaster reported.
The tensions surrounding North Korea have been high over recent months and have escalated further following the approval of US-drafted UN sanctions against the country, with Pyongyang vowing to to retaliate against the United States. US President Donald Trump, in turn, warned that if North Korea continued making threats or possible actions that they would be met with "fire and fury" from the United States.
On August 9, North Korea's military announced plans to fire four missiles in waters off Guam by mid-August, noting that if fired the missiles would fly over the Japanese prefectures of Shimane, Hirosima and Kochi. On Saturday, the Japanese Defense Ministry deployed the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) surface-to-air, anti-missile systems in these prefectures.
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