Japan scraps plan to deploy US-made missile systems

Japanese Defence Minister Taro Kono said on Thursday that the government has decided to scrap a plan to deploy land-based missile defence systems, made by the US, at two sites in the country.

The decision was made at a National Security Council meeting convened on Wednesday at which Kono officially told a meeting of Japan’s main governing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) about the retracting of the plan to deploy the Aegis Ashore missile systems, reports Xinhua news agency.

Kono had already indicated last week the the deployment of the Aegis Ashore missile system in Yamaguchi and Akita prefectures would be halted owing to major technical issues and mounting costs.

Japan first decided to deploy the two missile defence systems in 2017.

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The plan has, since its conception, has met with a myriad of problems, including a strong public backlash from residents in the two proposed sites.

The Defence Ministry, in addition, has also come under fire for initially using flawed data to select sites for hosting the controversial land-based missile launcher system.