Kono, U.S. Commander Affirm Missile Defense Cooperation


Tokyo, Aug. 22 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono and Lt. Gen. Kevin Schneider, commander of U.S. Forces Japan, agreed Saturday that both sides will continue to cooperate to build a new missile defense system for Japan.

The accord came after the Japanese government earlier this year scrapped a plan to introduce the Aegis Ashore land-based missile intercept system.

"North Korean missiles remain an undeniable threat," Kono told reporters after the meeting with Schneider at U.S. Yokota Air Base in a Tokyo suburb. "We'll fully consider (an alternative missile defense system), including at the National Security Council," he said.

During the meeting, Kono and Schneider also confirmed cooperation between Japanese and U.S. defense authorities in responding to the coronavirus epidemic.

They are also believed to have had talks on Chinese activities in the East China Sea, including waters around the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands.

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Jiji Press