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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Japan Abandons Plans to Deploy US Aegis Ashore Missile Defence System

Sputnik News

00:55 GMT 25.06.2020(updated 05:41 GMT 25.06.2020)

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Japan has abandoned its plans to deploy US Aegis Ashore land-based missile defence system, the Kyodo news agency reported on Thursday, citing Defence Minister Taro Kono.

"The National Security Council discussed this matter and reached a conclusion that the deployment of Aegis Ashore in Akita and Yamaguchi is to be rescinded," Japan's Defence Minister Taro Kono told a meeting of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

The suspension of the costly and controversial US-made defence system was announced suddenly last week. Kono said that the deployment of the US Aegis Ashore missile defence system in the country was no longer reasonable, as it would cost the budget some $1.86 billion to fix existing technical issues.

Meanwhile, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said last week the government was committed to considering alternatives to the Aegis Ashore system.

"There should not be a gap in our country's defences. We want to hold discussions on the necessary measures," Abe stated.

In December 2017, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe approved plans to install two US-made Aegis Ashore missile defence units, each costing approximately $900 million, in response to ballistic missile tests conducted by North Korea. The two components were expected to cover the entire country and enter into service before 2023.

© Sputnik

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