Japan to Draw Up New Missile Defense Measures by Year-End: Abe

Politics

Tokyo, Sept. 11 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government will draw up new missile defense measures by the end of this year, after it has scrapped a program to introduce the Aegis Ashore land-based missile interceptor system, outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a statement Friday.

"In thorough consultations with the ruling parties," the government "will identify policies to be undertaken by the end of this year to respond to the severe security environment surrounding Japan," said Abe, who is set to step down for health reasons.

The statement made no mention of the possible possession by the country of enemy base attack capability, included in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's recommendations last month. Komeito, the LDP's coalition partner, is cautious about holding such capability.

It is unusual for a sitting prime minister to issue such a statement just before leaving office.

"I hope that the issue will be fully discussed under the next cabinet, as well," Abe told reporters at the prime minister's office on the same day. He added that the statement "will not constrain" the next cabinet.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press