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US says Japan 'suspended' Aegis Ashore, not canceled

Senior defense official seeks ways to 'move forward' with technical fixes

The U.S. hoped that Japan's Aegis Ashore batteries would allow for Aegis-equipped ships to be moved elsewhere in the region, including the South China Sea.   © Reuters

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. intends to continue talks with Japan to move forward with deployment of the Aegis Ashore missile shield, David Helvey, acting assistant defense secretary, said Thursday, in the first remarks by a senior U.S. official since Tokyo decided to halt the program.

Noting that Japan announced a suspension, not cancellation, Helvey, who specializes in Indo-Pacific security, said the two countries are "engaged in technical discussions" to put the project back on track.

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