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Tag Archives: Maritime Self-Defense Forces (MSDF)

Aegis Ashore and Japan’s Defense Policy Dysfunction

On June 15, Defense Minister Taro Kono announced a suspension of the deployment of the Aegis Ashore missile interception system—a suspension that ten days later became a cancellation. The progression from deciding to deploy Aegis Ashore, to cancelling it, to considering alternatives, reveals policy formation fraught with dysfunction.

The Case Against Aegis Ashore

While the Abe administration presents Aegis Ashore as an essential and relatively uncontroversial contribution to the defense of Japan from the North Korean threat, in reality the deployment of this missile defense system risks further destabilizing the security situation in Northeast Asia, especially with regard to Russia.