Japan Lawmakers Rap Halt to Aegis Ashore Deployment Plans

Politics

Tokyo, June 16 (Jiji Press)--Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers Tuesday criticized the Japanese government's decision to stop plans to deploy the Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense system in Akita and Yamaguchi prefectures.

At a joint meeting of the ruling party's National Defense Division and Research Commission on National Security, a participant requested an explanation by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the decision.

The Defense Ministry explained that the rocket booster of an interceptor missile would fall within Self-Defense Forces bases, but it now says that ensuring this will be difficult due to technical problems.

"Has the ministry lied to us?" former Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, head of the commission, said at the outset of the meeting.

Japan should have an ability to counterattack enemy bases as a deterrent power that will substitute for Aegis Ashore, he said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press