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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 September 16 - 29  > Suga gov’t sticks to deployment of failed missile defense system
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2020 September 16 - 29 [POLITICS]

Suga gov’t sticks to deployment of failed missile defense system

September 25, 2020
In place of the abandoned plan to deploy the land-based Aegis Ashore missile interceptor system, the Suga government is now considering the possibility of deploying the interceptor system to an offshore facility.

Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide’s predecessor, Abe Shinzo, decided to purchase the costly missile defense system after giving in to U.S. President Donald Trump’s pressure to buy more U.S. weapons. However, the government this year gave up its Aegis Ashore deployment plan by pointing to the possibility that booster rockets of interceptor missiles may fall onto areas outside a Self-Defense Forces training field.

The Suga government has turned to an on-sea deployment plan as it will enable the government to ignore the risk of a stray booster failing to land precisely on the training field.

Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo on September 24 at a meeting of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party National Defense Division presented three alternatives to the cancelled Aegis Ashore plan: deployment to an SDF escort vessel; to a civilian ship; and to an offshore oil rig platform. Kishi said that the government will make its choice by the end of the year while indicating no information regarding the technical feasibility of the three options.

However, the Aegis technologies are becoming obsolete as the ballistic missile technologies of North Korea and Russia develop further. In addition, a public call is increasing for more government spending for coronavirus measures instead of for weapons. The government should not cling to its plan to introduce the anti-ballistic missile system.

Past related articles:
> Gov’t gives up on deployment of Aegis Ashore to Japan [June 26, 2020]
> Gov’t should cancel not only Aegis Ashore but also Henoko base construction [June 25, 2020]
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