This week, Japan’s Defense Minister, Taro Kono, surprised the world by announcing the decision to suspend construction in his country of two missile defense sites. This decision could not have come at a worse time for both the security of Japan and its strategic relationship with the United States. Both China and North Korea continue to build up their inventories of theater ballistic missiles. The suspension decision came right on the heels of Pyongyang ramping up its bellicose rhetoric and even blowing up a building that housed a liaison office for North-South talks. Japan needs to reconsider its decision to suspend the Aegis Ashore program. Instead, in consultation with the United States, the Japanese government should devise a new plan that will address any concerns while ensuring that its people are protected by the best missile defense capability currently available. I have written more about this subject here.
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