Japan Aims To Build-Up Missile Defense After North Korea Displays Monster Rocket

The aircraft maintenance engineers prepare to stow away an SH-60K helicopter on the flight deck aboard the Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter carrier JS Izumo along a sea route heading northward from Brunei towards Sulu Sea on June 29, 2019. (AFP)

The Japanese top official stated that the country will strengthen its air defence in order to respond to threats.

“In order to respond to threats that are diversifying and complex, we will firmly work to strengthen our comprehensive missile deterrence capability,” Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a regular news conference Monday. “We understand that some of those missiles are said to make it difficult for us to respond with our conventional equipment.”

Kato declined to give details on Japan’s analysis of the missiles displayed by North Korea. He said only that Japan would continue to cooperate with the U.S. and other concerned countries to protect the Japanese people.

Japan is the first country in the Pacific-Asia region which openly spoke against the latest military development of the Pyongyang regime affirming the US missile defense system as the way to address the threat.

North Korea, marking the 75th anniversary of its ruling party on Saturday, paraded a variety of weapons systems, unveiling what appeared to be an intercontinental ballistic missile that is larger than any of the North’s known ICBMs. It also displayed what was likely an upgraded version of a missile that can be fired from submarines.


An image made from a video broadcasted by North Korea's KRT shows a military parade with what appears to be a possible new intercontinental ballistic missile at the Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on Oct. 10. (via AFP)

Despite the economic recession, Japan has been heavily investing in its defence capabilities.

The ministry will launch a commanding unit in western Tokyo and staff size will be increased to 70 next year. The 72 billion yen defence budget covers  the design and launch a surveillance satellite and development and purchase of the equipment compatible with the U.S.

In May, Tokyo launched the Space Operations Squadron as part of the Air Self-Defense Force, with 20 initial members. It is expected to grow to about 100 members once the unit is fully operational in 2023.

The unit is tasked with monitoring and protecting Japanese satellites from enemy attacks or space debris. It will also conduct satellite-based navigation and communications for other troops in the field.

It is being said that Tokyo may return to the idea the installation of the Aegis Ashore radars and interceptors scrapped in June due to the technical issues.

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