Tokyo might’ve said that Aegis Ashore missile systems were too expensive and dangerous to use, but it hasn’t given up on building the American defense package completely, an informed source has told Reuters.
In July, Japanese defense minister Taro Kono announced that plans to install two Aegis Ashore sites had been cancelled. The systems were too pricey, while the falling booster stages from their interceptor missiles could kill civilians on the ground, the minister explained.
But a source with direct knowledge of the issue has now told Reuters that the decision wasn’t final. The unnamed official – it’s unclear if he or she was American or Japanese – said that Tokyo was in consultations with Washington, asking for a technical assessment on using alternative placement sites that would eliminate dangers to the population.
Among the options being considered is building Aegis Ashore on sea platforms or in remote coastal areas.
“Japan wants to preserve its contracts and reutilize equipment,” the source pointed out. Even if Tokyo doesn’t purchase American missile launchers, the billion-dollar contract for Aegis Ashore radars still remains in place, he added. (RT)
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