Japan approves missile defence system amid North Korea threat

2017-12-19 11:53
A TV screen broadcasting news of North Korea's missile launch, in Tokyo on November 29. North Korea launched its most powerful weapon yet early on November 29, a presumed intercontinental ballistic missile that could put Washington and the entire eastern US seaboard within range. (Shizuo Kambayashi, AP, file)

A TV screen broadcasting news of North Korea's missile launch, in Tokyo on November 29. North Korea launched its most powerful weapon yet early on November 29, a presumed intercontinental ballistic missile that could put Washington and the entire eastern US seaboard within range. (Shizuo Kambayashi, AP, file)

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Tokyo - Japan's cabinet has approved a plan to purchase a set of costly land-based US missile combat systems to step up the country's defence capability amid escalating threats from North Korea.

Tuesday's approval will allow the Defence Ministry to buy two Aegis Ashore systems to add to Japan's current two-step missile defence consisting of Patriot batteries and Aegis-equipped destroyers.

READ: North Korea is 'begging for war', says US

The purchase would add to growing defence costs as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government pushes to allow Japan's military a greater international role and boost its missile combat capability.

Defence officials say two Aegis Ashore units can cover Japan entirely and could cost around ¥200bn ($1.8bn), though they have not released exact figures.

The deployment is planned for 2023.

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Read more on:    japan  |  north korea

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