Japan to step up defenses from Chinese, North Korean threats

Tokyo(IP)- Prime Minister of Jepan signalled to North Korea and China he will bolster Japan’s military to counter threats they pose to security, allocating $5 billion for sea-based missile interceptors and new anti-ship missiles.

Iran PressAsia: Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's cabinet on Friday authorized spending to add two Aegis-equipped destroyers to Japan’s fleet of vessels to bring its tally to 10 and make it the largest behind the US Navy. It will also develop a new, longer-range surface-to-ship missile that would counter threats at sea, in a move that comes as its warships and those from China have sailed near each other off uninhabited East China Sea islands claimed by both nations, according to Bloomberg.

Japan and China have for decades been at loggerheads over the islands called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, which poses the potential for wider conflict since the US has said the islands are covered by its security treaty with Japan.

“This will strengthen Japan’s stand-off defensive capability from outside threats while ensuring the safety of Self-Defense Forces personnel,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a news briefing.

Japan views Aegis systems from Lockheed Martin Corp. as one protection from the growing missile threats of China and North Korea with the latter having test-fired rockets over Japanese territory. In June, then-Defense Minister Taro Kono announced the deployment of the Aegis Ashore missile defence system, with an estimated price tag of $5 billion, would be cancelled due to cost and safety concerns.

Japan had been looking to deploy two onshore batteries in the prefectures of Yamaguchi and Akita, at either end of Japan’s main island of Honshu, which would give it a broad shield against incoming missiles. But residents in both locations protested. Some argued the batteries could make them targets of any strike and that booster stages from the interceptors could fall in their area.


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Japan to step up defenses from Chinese, North Korean threats
Japan to step up defenses from Chinese, North Korean threats