Japan Beefs Up Missile System against North Korea

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japanese prime minister
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers a speech at the Japan Business Federation general assembly in Tokyo on June 3, 2014. Abe may visit North Korea, Japan said on June 3, days after announcing a deal to re-open the probe into Japanese citizens kidnapped by spies in the Cold War. AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGI

Japan’s government on Tuesday decided to beef up its missile defence systems to ward off the rising threat of Asian neighbour, North Korea, local media reported.

“Two U.S.-developed Aegis Ashore systems are set to be introduced in the country by 2023 in a bid to protect all of Japan’s territory from aerial attack,’’ local media reported.

The two systems, set to be installed in Akita province in the north-east and in the west, in Yamaguchi, are to add to the two tiers of missile defences, based at sea and on land, which are already in use.

“The government decided to add the new layer of protection to reduce the workload” of the country’s Self-Defence Forces,’’ it said.

In a statement, the Japanese government noted that North Korea’s nuclear and missile development posed a new level of threat to the country.

“We need to fundamentally improve our ballistic missile defence abilities to protect our country at all times and in a sustainable manner,’’ the statement said.

It added that the rockets fired from North Korea this year had regularly flown over Japan, setting off local warning systems, and landing in the Sea of Japan.

The country’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has sided with U.S. President Donald Trump, who had warned that every option including military action, was on the table to deal with Pyongyang.

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