ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronCrossEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinShapeCreated with Sketch.Icon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailMenu BurgerIcon Opinion QuotePositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon SearchSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
International Relations

Japan and US say ballistic missile defense system test was successful

Tokyo's decision to expand capabilities prompted by North Korea threat

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency conducted the first intercept flight test of a land-based Aegis missile defense system in 2015.   © Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The United States and Japan successfully tested Japan's Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system off the coast of Hawaii on Tuesday, U.S. military officials said in a statement released on Wednesday.

The test of the Aegis system, by Lockheed Martin Corp , "provides confidence in the future capability for Japan to defeat the developing threats in the region," said Lieutenant General Sam Greaves, director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA).

Japan last year decided to expand its ballistic missile defense capabilities with the U.S.-made Aegis system in response to what it said was a growing threat from North Korean rockets.

Tokyo is wary of North Korean promises to abandon its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs and considers Pyongyang its most serious threat even as U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed progress on denuclearization. Trump has also pushed Japan to buy more U.S. military gear and other goods.

"We are committed to assisting the government of Japan in upgrading its national missile defense capability against emerging threats," Greaves said.

Japan has also said its missile defense systems are for self-defense only and do not pose a threat to Russia, which has expressed concern over efforts to establish a U.S. missile defense system in the region.

On Wednesday, Russia made a dramatic offer to formally end World War Two hostilities between their countries, an overture clouded by a decades-old dispute over an island chain in the Pacific Ocean.

In the test on Tuesday, a simple, separating ballistic missile launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands in Kauai, Hawaii, was intercepted above the Pacific by an upgraded standard missile 3, the MDA said.

You have {{numberReadArticles}} FREE ARTICLE{{numberReadArticles-plural}} left this month

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

Get unlimited access
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

{{sentenceStarter}} {{numberReadArticles}} free article{{numberReadArticles-plural}} this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most dynamic market in the world.

Benefit from in-depth journalism from trusted experts within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends September 30th

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media