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Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono announced on Thursday, June 25, 2020 that the country’s leaders have decided to junk the plan to deploy US-made Aegis Ashore missile defense systems in its Akita and Yamaguchi prefectures.

The report, initially made by the Japanese news agency Kyodo, said the decision was firmed up during a session of the National Security Council on Wednesday.

Kono said earlier this month the Japanese government had decided to suspend its plans to deploy the US Aegis Ashore land-based ballistic missile defense system and explained the move was motivated by the fact that it was impossible to guarantee the fall of boosters strictly on the territory of military bases or at sea, the Russian news agency TASS reported.

Thus, the deployment created safety risks for the civilian population, he said, adding that fixing that drawback would require a significant amount of time and funding. Meanwhile, experts say that the Aegis Ashore modification planned for the deployment in Japan will be useless against advanced ballistic and cruise missiles. The US administration has already approved the sale of two Aegis Ashore systems to Japan. They were planned for their deployment in the Yamaguchi prefecture in the southwest of Japan main island of Honshu and in the Akita prefecture in its north.

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