Japanese minister hopes to boost Aegis missile defense capability

January 12, 2018

Asian Review:

Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Wednesday after inspecting a test complex for the land-based Aegis Ashore missile defense system in Hawaii that Japan hopes to bolster capability of the system it plans to introduce in the near future.

“We would like to develop (the Aegis Ashore system) into a basic infrastructure that will be helpful in comprehensive missile defense that can (intercept) cruise and other kinds of missiles,” he told reporters after visiting the facility on Kauai Island.

The Japanese government aims to start operation of the Aegis Ashore in fiscal 2023 to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles amid the growing North Korean threat. Onodera’s remarks on cruise missiles apparently reflected Tokyo’s wariness over China, which possesses many long-range cruise missiles.

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