Information sharing to boost Aegis defense

US approves $133mn interceptor missile sale to Japan amid breakthrough intra Korean talks

In this image provided by the Missile Defense Agency, a SM-3 missile is fired from the USS Lake Erie in the mid Pacific Ocean on May 10, 2012.

On Dec. 19, 2017, the Japanese government announced its decision to deploy the Aegis Ashore systems on the country's territory in order to protect the Japanese citizens from the threat posed by a potential missile attack by North Korea. The U.S. Navy plans to steadily introduce the engage-on-remote system to its Aegis vessels.

The U.S. (L) and Japanese national flags are hoisted next to a traditional Okinawan Shisa statue at the U.S. Marine's Camp Foster in Ginowan, on the southern island of Okinawa, Japan June 18, 2016.

While Pyongyang refused to discuss the topic of denuclearization with Seoul, the head of the North Korean delegation at the talks, Ri Son Gwon, told media that all North Korean weapons "including atomic bombs, hydrogen bombs and ballistic missiles" are aimed exclusively at the USA and should not be deemed to pose threat to the self-isolated country's neighbors.

Japan's only current land-based ballistic missile defense is the Patriot system, including Patriot Advanced Capability 3 missiles-and the PAC-3 is more of a point defense system, with much shorter range.

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The White House has greenlighted the sale of four interceptor missiles that Tokyo wants to buy from Washington to "fundamentally" improve its defenses. Each can hold a maximum of eight SM-3 interceptors.

Sea-based Aegis systems are capable of intercepting ballistic missile at altitudes of over 310 miles. He argued that the continuation of a nuclear-armed North Korea was "absolutely unacceptable". It is expected to enter operational service in 2019-2020 at a cost of about ¥170 billion (USD 1.5B) each, the report says.

HAWAII-In a comment likely to spark controversy over the nation's defense policy, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera on January 10 said Japan should build a comprehensive system capable of intercepting cruise missiles.

Japan will have a fleet of eight Aegis destroyers in 2020, following the construction of new ships and upgrades to others.

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