Japan has approved a proposal to purchase two land-based Aegis combat systems as part of the East Asian country“™s effort to expand its ballistic missile defense capability in response to North Korea“™s nuclear and missile threats, Reuters reported Tuesday.
Sources said the establishment of the proposed Aegis Ashore batteries could cost approximately $2 billion and could be deployed by 2023.
“North Korea“™s nuclear missile development poses a new level of threat to Japan and as we have done in the past we will ensure that we are able to defend ourselves with a drastic improvement in ballistic missile defense,“ said Itsunori Onodera, Japan“™s defense minister.
North Korea carried out its third intercontinental ballistic missile test in November.
The decision over the Aegis Ashore stations came a month after the Defense Department reportedly started to exchange initial price and technical data with Japan over the ground-based Aegis defense system.