Japan puts missile defense spending on fast track

Lester Mason
December 8, 2017

Japan plans to purchase offensive air-to-surface missiles to counter North Korea's rising military threat, its defence minister said Friday, a move likely to stir debate over its decades-long pacifist policy.

The fiscal 2017 supplementary budget, expected to receive cabinet approval this month, will include money to introduce the Patriot Advanced Capability Missile Segment Enhancement, which doubles the protective range of the PAC-3 surface-to-air interceptors, as well as the FPS-7 long-range search radar.

New laws introduced by Mr Abe will soon allow a broader interpretation of what the constitution does, and does not, permit.

Mr Onodera said the new missiles would be for defence purposes, with Japan still relying on the United States to strike any enemy bases.

The upper house unanimously adopted a resolution protesting against the North's firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile that dropped into the sea inside Japan's exclusive economic zone last week.

The missiles in question are the JSM by Norway's Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace, with a range of about 500 km, and Lockheed Martin Corp.'s JASSM-ER and LRASM missiles, which each have a roughly 900-km range.

"At dawn, North Korea launched an unidentified ballistic missile to the East from the environs of Pyongyang", according to the chiefs of staff of South Korea.

Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force also will receive funding for technical information from the USA military to speed up the introduction of the Aegis Ashore land-based missile shield.

Onodera said the missiles will be used to defend Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers equipped with the Aegis missile defense system.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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