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Aerospace & Defense

Aegis Ashore suspension stretches Japan's defenses dangerously thin

Decision shakes alliance with US and puts country's southwest at risk

From left, guided-missile destroyers USS Sampson, JS Atago of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and USS Fitzgerald during a missile exercise near Guam. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy)

TOKYO -- Japan's decision to halt the deployment of the U.S.-made Aegis Ashore missile defense system will weaken the nation's ability to counter the North Korean threat and could also strain the security partnership with Washington, its most important ally.

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