Japan informs the U.S. that it prefers to arm with missile destroyers to defend against Chinese ballistic missile. This is the statement released by the Japanese government as it arms against Chinese aggression.
This is one of the options that the Japanese Defense Force could opt for other than the U.S.-developed Aegis Ashore systems which are less mobile because it is land-based. One of the advantages of ship-based missile systems is that it is mobile, meaning it can be moved anywhere. Otherwise, it offers the JDF more options for defensive purposes, reports Kyodo News.
The statement given explains that after deliberation it can determine that the missile defense system can be used for offensive purposes as well. As much as the earlier land-based system was almost opted for other considerations were other threats. Such threats as submarines and jet fighters were another dimension that prompted rethinking on how to defend Japan. Ballistic missiles were only part of the puzzle to consider.
Due to the influence of the outgoing Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with others, they formulated the response to missile defense by the middle of September last year. One of the more controversial ideas on acquiring these missile systems is the ability to mount counter strikes on enemy installations. One reason is China acquiring missiles for attack, Tokyo is not confident its purely defensive stance, noted Japan Times.
Abe is in the process of leaving his post as current prime minister because of ill-health when he finally steps down and his successor will expand on the acquisition of ships and other systems.
Getting the missile defense system that would have been deployed in the Akita, including the Yamaguchi prefectures were discontinued. One of the reasons why it was abruptly shut down is the extra expenses needed for updates.
According to the Abe administration, the installation of the Aegis Ashore was a means to counter North Korean missiles till changes in priorities were taken in for adjustments, cited The Strategist.
Another logic of the decision is the land-based systems would not task Japanese ships that would eventually carry the system and the crews of the Maritime Self-Defense Force. This move drew opposing moves from local residents in these suggest sites.
Present plans have evolved to construct ships that will not be canceled by local consent. It also minimize fees if the project does not push through for the equipment needed. This kinds of equipment include the SPY-7 radar system made by Lockheed Martin that will be fitted to such vessels.
Sources close to the government said the offshore aegis system was almost the unanimous, until they rethink about it.
The government's initial idea to shift the missile system to mobile maritime platforms is the strict need to get consent from residents.
Increased North Korean missile launches have alarmed Tokyo to secure Japan from missile attacks. In doing so, he stressed the need to upgrade defense against such threats. But there is concern about Japanese options to attack foreign nations which the Aegis Ashore deployment got stopped temporarily.
Japanese thinking is shifting as evidenced by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, believing striking back is needed for ICBMs.
Related article: Japanese Subs Will Blunt Chinese Excursions in Japanese Waters