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The Financial Express

Japan strengthening missile defence amid N Korea threat

Published: December 19, 2017 12:23:00 | Updated: December 20, 2017 10:08:01


The Missile Defence Agency conducts the first intercept flight test of a land-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defence weapon system from the Aegis Ashore Missile Defence Test Complex in Kauai, Hawaii. (Reuter Photo) The Missile Defence Agency conducts the first intercept flight test of a land-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defence weapon system from the Aegis Ashore Missile Defence Test Complex in Kauai, Hawaii. (Reuter Photo)

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.

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, reports AP.

Defence officials say two Aegis Ashore units can cover Japan entirely and could cost around 200 billion yen ($1.8 billion), though they have not released exact figures. The deployment is planned for 2023.

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