Japan: If the DPRK is disarming, why deploy US Aegis systems?

26.06.2018, Tokio.

“If the DPRK is disarming, why spend 100 billion yen per each US missile defense system?” the governors of two prefectures, where several US Aegis systems are to be deployed, ask the Japanese central government, The Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported on June 25.

During his journey to the future deployment sites of these missile systems, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera tried to convince the local authorities that “the threat from North Korea has not changed at all. North Korea has deployed several hundred ballistic missiles capable of reaching Japan and most likely it also possesses a number of nuclear warheads.”

However, the Governor of the Yamaguchi prefecture, Tsugumasa Muraoka, asked the Minister for a more convincing explanation of why the Aegis systems, worth almost a billion dollars each, were still needed, “given the changes in the international situation.”

Norihisa Satake, the Governor of another prefecture, Akita, raised the possibility that the central government had “hastily” decided on the deployment of the US anti-missile systems without addressing the concerns of local communities. In the city of Akita, they are to be located near a school and private homes.

Residents are concerned that the construction of additional facilities for the operation of the defense systems will violate the statutory environment standards, and that electromagnetic waves emitted by the Aegis radars could affect their health.

These key territories have not given their consent yet, but the Minister plans to continue his “awareness-raising activities” in order to convince the “rebel” prefectures.

According to the newspaper, a high-ranking Defense Ministry official admitted that “if we acquire the Aegis Ashore system, Trump would be very satisfied.”

Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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