Japan Halts Aegis Ashore Deployment Plan
Tokyo, June 15 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government will suspend plans to deploy the Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense system in Akita and Yamaguchi prefectures, Defense Minister Taro Kono said Monday.
The decision follows a technical problem found in the interceptor missile's booster rocket, which would take a lot of time and money to resolve, Kono told reporters in Tokyo.
The suspension means an effective withdrawal of the Aegis Ashore deployment plan, which is a serious blow to Japan's missile defenses and could undermine its relations with the United States, which supplies the system.
Kono said that he briefed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about the suspension and received his approval on Friday.
The National Security Council will be convened soon to discuss a response. It is rare that a major policy decision has been announced by a defense minister before an NSC meeting.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]