0 $
2,500 $
5,000 $
312 $
JULY 2020

Japan Officially Confirms Cancellation Of Two Aegis Ashore Anti-Missile Systems

Donate

Japan Officially Confirms Cancellation Of Two Aegis Ashore Anti-Missile Systems

The Aegis Ashore system in Romania, reportedly operated by 100 US Navy personnel from the 6th Fleet

Japan has formally cancelled its plans to procure two Aegis Ashore missile defence batteries after a meeting of the National Security Council considered the matter, due to concerns that the booster rocket on the Standard Missile-3 Block IIA interceptor missile could fall on nearby civilian communities instead of within the military bases from where they would have been launched.

Defence Minister Taro Kono announced his intentions to suspend the program on June 15 so that the matter could be examined further. On Thursday, after speaking to the National Security Council chaired by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe the day before, Kono told lawmakers, “after deliberations at the NSC, we have come to the decision to cancel the deployment in Yamaguchi and Akita prefectures,” according to Kyodo News.

The two sites, one at the northern end of the country and one in the south, were meant to supplement ship-based anti-ballistic missile capabilities to protect the country against possible missiles from North Korea or China.

According to Kyodo, the Defence Minister cited technical problems and increasing costs, as well as strong local opposition due to the fact that the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor couldn’t be altered to control specifically where the rocket booster would land.

According to a report by USNI News, the SM-3 Block IIA – a missile that was co-developed by Japan and the US – has a smaller impact area for where the rocket booster could fall than other missiles that are compatible with the Aegis Ashore system, such as the SM-3 Block IA or IB.

Nonetheless, after selecting the Aegis Ashore locations, the safety concerns of local communities in adjacent areas led Japan to search for ways to further narrow the area where the booster could fall, based on potential winds and other factors. The Japanese government wanted to guarantee that the booster would land on military property or at sea, rather than on local civilian neighbourhoods.

After conducting exhaustive technical investigations, it was determined that guaranteeing that all civilian property would be safe was not technologically possible. Narrowly selecting where the booster would fall would require a different kind of missile altogether optimized for that feature, rather than the SM-3 IIA, which is optimized to have a longer range and a bigger warhead than previous BMD interceptors.

Kyodo reported that Kono also told lawmakers that there were no alternate sites for the Aegis Ashore instalments, so the effort was cancelled. LINK

The two other Aegis Ashore installations – in Romania and Poland – are located at more remote military areas, with the risk a falling booster poses to civilian infrastructure being minimal. The House Armed Services Committee is considering legislation to consider the deployment of an Aegis Ashore site at Fort Drum, New York; that site, too, would protect civilian infrastructure because the launchers could likely be set up with the booster dispersion area contained within the fences of the large, remote Army base.

In terms of personnel at the sites, at the existing Aegis Ashore site in Romania the US Missile Defense Agency oversaw the acquisition and construction of the system and then turned it over to the US Navy for operations, with about 100 personnel from the 6th Fleet operating the site. A similar arrangement was being considered as a guideline for planning the operation of the Japanese anti-missile systems.

The Cabinet of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the decision to purchase two Aegis Ashore systems in December of 2017. In a press conference announcing the decision a Japanese official explained that:

“Aegis Ashore would go a long way in supplementing the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s fleet of Aegis-equipped destroyers, both in terms of range and ability to handle multiple threats at once. He made clear that “the threat against our national security from North Korea’s nuclear and missile development has become more serious and imminent than before and has risen to a new level,” and that two batteries of Aegis Ashore were needed to ensure round-the-clock protection.

As Aegis Ashore is capable of using the SM-3 Block IIA, we understand that the range and capability of our defense will improve. Currently, the MSDF’s Aegis-equipped destroyers are responsible for missile defense, but given that this task must be performed constantly, on a 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year basis, it is desirable to deploy a land-based system,” he said, according to an English translation of the press conference.

The MSDF currently possesses four BMD-capable Aegis-equipped destroyers, and the number will increase to five, and ultimately, we will firmly defend Japan with a fleet of eight Aegis-equipped destroyers. However, the Aegis-equipped destroyers are originally not intended only for BMD but also for performing various tasks, including the defense of the southwestern region. When the Aegis Ashore system has been completed, the Aegis-equipped destroyers will be able to perform various tasks, making it possible to defend Japan more effectively.” LINK

Without Aegis Ashore, Japan will rely on what will soon be a fleet of eight Aegis-equipped destroyers in the Kongo, Atago and Maya classes of DDGs, as well as land-based Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile defence coverage. Although it was previously reported that the Japanese government was considering deploying the ‘Aegis Ashore’ on some type of artificial islands or floating platforms, the latest announcement suggests that this option has also been ruled out.

Meanwhile, an interesting article has appeared in the Japan Times outlet (Confrontational approach to China: Emotionally satisfying, strategically short-sighted), in which the author argues that Japan should consider a more balanced approach to its defence rather than continuing its policy of absolute reliance on the US and adopting a confrontational approach with its regional neighbours. LINK

Japan’s troubled relationship with its former colony and erstwhile ally South Korea has also not improved; most recently, Japan told the US that it opposes including South Korea in the G7, an unnecessary and arrogant proclamation that is certain to irk its supposed ally. LINK

MORE ON THE TOPIC:

Donate

SouthFront

Do you like this content? Consider helping us!

  • rightiswrong rightiswrong

    You’ve got to laugh at the suggestion that Japan, a chain of islands, could not find anywhere to place US missile (non)defence systems, for fear of the booster rockets falling on a civilian, priceless.
    The Japs are just saving themselves billions of dollars, and political clout with the Russians and Chinese in telling the Yanks to bring their useless gear back to American homes.

    Did anyone tell the Poles and Romanians that booster rockets will be falling on their houses, even before Russian counter missiles do, lol.

    • FlorianGeyer

      Its high time that the Japanese kicked all the US military tourists off all Japanese soil.
      The humiliation of the Japanese by having US troops in Japan has lasted long enough.

      • rightiswrong rightiswrong

        Japan and South Korea aren’t too far away from building nuclear weapons of their own, they are both strong economically, politically and militarily, and need to realise being a forward base for US aggression will not end in a positive manner to the residents of East Asia.

        It’s just that there is so much US hardware sitting in their nations.

        • FlorianGeyer

          Without determined troops, the US hardware is just an ornament.
          The mass of the US military today is incapable of close quarter battle with determined opponents. Afghanistan is a good example of this.

          • rightiswrong rightiswrong

            That’s a lot of collateral damage capability to those civilian population centres, with the geography of those nations. Look how many the Yanks killed in Korea, they dropped more bombs on them than they did in all of WW2.
            Agree totally about their troops, but these airboys fly from far away, and don’t have to bunk down in country.
            Look how many grunts they gave up in Vietnam despite knowing since 1965 that they could not defeat the NVA|VC.
            They will eventually leave, but more than likely to US financial implosion than to Japanese|S Korean demands. The infrastructure in place in these advanced nations aren’t worth risking by antagonising the loons of DC.

          • FlorianGeyer

            I agree, and patience is indeed needed to let internal strife inside the US do its work.
            However all vassal nations have a part to play in giving the US a lobotomy. If they do not the collapse of the US Empire will bring all her vassals down as well.

            One problem that all empires have suffered from is greed and lazyness after their conquests of other lands. As a result, the empires import slaves or indentured serfs from their conquered lands (cheap labour to do the menial but essential jobs the empires citizens will no longer do).

            These immigrant workers and soldiers grudgingly labour for the empire and create an underclass that in time grows to a significant percentage of the empires homeland population as generations pass by.

            Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, USA,Holland,Belgium are all the modern day examples of this.

            The underclasses are all aware of their history and the violence their forefathers suffered from the Empire, and all of them have a justified piece of hatred in their hearts because of this. In time all empires decay from within. It’s the historical way of things :)

          • rightiswrong rightiswrong

            Amen to that bro, lol.

  • Dprk

    it would take about a couple of minutes for nk missiles to reach japan. not to mention nk subs all around japan. by the way, nk has about 90 subs.

    • FlorianGeyer

      The DPRK just want to be left alone without US sanctions, and as long as the Japanese do not attack the DPRK or allow the US to do so from Japan, there is nothing to worry about.

  • occupybacon

    Probably Russia threatened they won’t buy all their second hand cars anymore.

    • Dprk

      that is very unlikely. japan knows it is useless against russia, china and nk missiles.

      • occupybacon

        Then why all those 3 cry like babies to not be installed.

        • Dprk

          that is not crying. nk would welcome us installation there because it would simply force nk to conduct more tests and launch more missiles. all three countries want to get rid of us there and make japan more independent, in certain case with intimidation.

          • occupybacon

            Nk would welcome something because that would force them to do something. Haha.. Pure masochistic logic.

          • Dprk

            that would be a nightmare for us. nk’s icbms and slbms will get close to us. nk could explode hydrogen bombs in the middle of the pacific as it said it would do and there isn’t a thing us can do about it.

          • occupybacon
          • Dprk
          • occupybacon

            So it was the rocket man!

    • Lone Ranger

      Probably they are fed up buying junk and pay extortion money in the $billions every year…

      • occupybacon

        We will never know.

        • Lone Ranger

          Japs are too polite.

        • Dprk

          Japan could declare neutrality if there were some sorta war close to them. they know there are nothing but enemies around them, even us colony south korea. japan made a lot of money during the korean war while being used as a staging ground. now that is not possible with nk missiles that could annihilate us bases there.

          • occupybacon

            Japan had already declared neutrality.

          • Dprk

            no they hadn’t. they still have us bases there.

          • occupybacon

            That bases help Japan’s neutrality.

    • cechas vodobenikov

      more bacon thinking —Russia produces many vehicles —US trash rarely observed in Europe or South america

      • occupybacon

        Maybe there is a Toyota factory in Russia I wasn’t aware of.

  • <>

    Bring them to Israel!

    • Lone Ranger

      Israel has better.

      • <>

        We could use more air defenses :)

        • Lone Ranger

          I bet if it was up to you there would be a SAM launcher on every rooftop and street corner :)

          • <>

            True xD

          • Lone Ranger

            👍

    • You mad that HK is now officially China? And that the US couldn’t do a thing to stop that? Next stop, Taiwan!

      • <>

        Not mad, I just love the hypocrisy of Europe. Let’s see if they will put any sanctions on China like they said the would do vs Israel. If they won’t, we would know it’s a bluff and annex the Jordan Valley.

        • Europe is leaning more towards China, now that the US is becoming more hostile with the day, sanctions won’t stop them, look at how they’re easily invading India

  • cechas vodobenikov

    more evidence that the empire is crumbling

    • Lone Ranger

      Indeed :)

  • Lone Ranger

    Oy gevalt…nein…
    The beautiful shekels…
    I think it’s time to sanction PS5 and Toyota Priuses as well..

  • SOF

    Japan’s just helping South Korea and saving it trouble by telling the US not to include South Korea in G7. G7 is the collection of broke insolvent nations based on the usury-run City of London banking system.

    If I was South Korea, I would be only too happy to oblige. The western Cabal kicked out the female South Korean President on trumped up corruption charges because she saw the potential of the BRI. The BRI is the only major thing the multipolar world has to fight this 400 year old usury based money system.

    • Swift Laggard II

      this is so simplistic. BRI is chinese usury. money does not care what ethnicity or race you belong to

  • BMWA1

    Ironically this is 6ecause Maidan… Zapor hyze a had Russian contrACTS cancelled… NK took up slacke with H14 Project…these are the Missiles w/ UA engines that got fhru AMI Aegis systems froml NK.

  • kenpachi

    arigatou well played