Kono Reports Withdrawal of Aegis Ashore Plan

Society Politics

Tokyo, June 25 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono said Thursday the National Security Council has decided to scrap a plan to deploy the Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense system in Akita and Yamaguchi prefectures.

At a joint meeting of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's National Defense Division and Research Commission on National Security, Kono reported that the NSC made the decision at Wednesday's meeting.

The defense minister explained that it came to light in late May that it would take over 10 more years and at least 220 billion yen in additional costs to ensure that an interceptor missile's booster drops on a safe location. He offered an apology for missteps of the ministry.

The government plans to consider an alternative missile defense system and whether Japan should possess a capability to attack enemy bases pre-emptively. Related discussions will take place mainly at the NSC.

"New technologies for ballistic missiles have been developed and we need discussions on responses to them," Kono said, seeking cooperation from the party.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press