Japan eyes deploying land-based Aegis missile shield in Akita

June 1, 2018

The Mainichi:

AKITA, Japan (Kyodo) — The Defense Ministry said Friday it hopes to start deploying the U.S. land-based Aegis Ashore missile defense system in the city of Akita, northern Japan, with a senior official noting the need to boost the country’s missile defense capabilities amid the unpredictable situation on the Korean Peninsula.

Parliamentary Vice Defense Minister Tatsuo Fukuda told Akita Gov. Norihisa Satake and Akita Mayor Motomu Hozumi that the ministry wants to start surveying the Ground Self-Defense Force’s training area in Akita’s Araya district, describing the site as “most suitable” for the planned Aegis Ashore deployment in fiscal 2023.

The government decided in December to install two Aegis Ashore batteries to protect the entire Japanese archipelago against the North Korean missile threat and has selected the site in Akita along with the GSDF’s Mutsumi training area in Hagi in Yamaguchi Prefecture, western Japan, as candidate sites.

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