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Aerospace & Defense Industries

Japan explores preemptive-strike option as Aegis Ashore alternative

Preemptive strikes on the table as inexpensive missile defense strategy

A North Korean missile is fired in an image released by state media. Japan is looking at preemptively striking enemy missile launchers if it is under immediate threat.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japanese officials will explore the development of preemptive-strike capabilities against enemy rocket launchers as a less-costly alternative to the Aegis Ashore missile shield.

The preemptive-strike option emerged as the National Security Council met Wednesday to reaffirm the suspension of the Aegis Ashore program. With Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in attendance, Defense Minister Taro Kono reported that the deployment of the missile shield to Akita and Yamaguchi prefectures has been shelved.

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