A man watches a television screen showing a news report on North Korea firing several short-range projectiles from its east coast, on a street in Tokyo. Photo: REUTERS file
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As N Korea expands arsenal, Japan's missile defense shield faces unforeseen costs

35 Comments
By Tim Kelly

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35 Comments
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Another excuse to waste money on missiles that change direction in mid flight?!? (sure they do)

The percentage of tax money used on weapons and incontinence pads just seems to rise year by year.

The Japanese are soon to be as impoverished as the North Koreans are!

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Caveat emptor. Those who don’t look will be took, but Japan can save billions of dollars through diplomacy with her neighbors.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Right.

Meanwhile a third world drone can easily slip right pass the best US defense system as it did in Saudi Arabia and land right in downtown Tokyo.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The tests are required to show the system is working properly, according to Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer. Held in Hawaii rather than Japan, they would cost about $100 million per launch.

When you sell a car with an auto-driving system, the car must be functionally perfect and reliable with all the system working perfectly.

So isn't it absurd that Japan must purchase untested two Aegis Ashore systems whose reliability must be tested later with testing costs entirely borne by Japanese taxpayers for $100 million per test  launch?

 A real comedy played by the two great clowns, indeed!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Caveat emptor. Those who don’t look will be took, but Japan can save billions of dollars through diplomacy with her neighbors.

Si vis pacem para bellum. Diplomacy only works in your favor if you possess the force to back it up. Diplomacy without strength is called “bending over and taking it.”

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Here's a piece I posted on the thread of "Japan sees cost for land-based millile defense doubling iitial quote" run on JT: July 24, 2018:

This is another case of a white elephant after the Henoko relocation in Okinawa. The system's accuracy rate is unknown or very unreliable at best as tests to shoot down incoming missiles have shown on many occasions. And more so if multiple missiles were coming in simultaneously.

( Cf. North Korea has developed missiles whose projectiles are as irregular as can be to avoid interception.)

Furthermore, in six years the system may become obsolete as Japan4life assumes.

The government must know all this, and yet it is intent on purchasing the Aegis Ashore missile system. Why? Nothing can explain this absurdity except that the Abe government is wagging the tail to Washington not to offend it, as always. A spineless, sycophantic bunch of people they are at the helm of the nation!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Stupid. NK is no threat to Japan. But these moron politicians seem intent on wasting taxpayer money on political kabuki theater.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Furthermore, in six years the system may become obsolete as Japan4life assumes.

The government must know all this, and yet it is intent on purchasing the Aegis Ashore missile system. Why? Nothing can explain this absurdity except that the Abe government is wagging the tail to Washington not to offend it, as always. A spineless, sycophantic bunch of people they are at the helm of the nation!

Thats precisely it....just a servant paying its dues to the master. Shinzo might as well transfer the 5 billion vassal fee to Donny and be done with it. Save the dancing around.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Can Japan bill China for these costs, being as how they have been propping up the North Korean dictatorship since the Korean War? Heck, the U.S. should bill them too, being as how we've spent billions dealing with the North Koreans and lost thousands of lives that wouldn't have been lost had it not been for China's entering the war on the North Korean side.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Japan's impetuous demand for the return of the abductees - the government driven by their families should be put an end. Those North Korea declared dead are dead. Other possible abductees may be living as North Koreans with their families. Repeating requests for the abductees irritate them and only worsens Japan's relation to N. Korea.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Quercetum, agreed. There’s too much pride though. Although I totally disagree with what the South Korea government has done with respect to backing out of a signed deal with Japan, I also don’t accept for a minute that Dear Leader would be not only inflexible but go in the opposite direction and start imagining military problems with either of the two Koreas. China? Maybe. Let’s see if Abe is an effective negotiator in Iran. The US doesn’t count; that’s about win-win in business. If in the end Japan enters a war it doesn’t have the money or manpower for a prolonged action.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sorry..another one.

Vanity of vanities, if I were Japan I'd ask to let the remaining kidnapees to visit their land. Japan out of pride demands the unreasonable. Having lived their adult life in another land would at best give them a desire to come home to visit. They’re a total fish out of water here. Some years ago Japan didn’t allow those in china born of Japanese parents who escaped the Russians to return. Why those in Korea? Favoritism because they were born here? We have no policy other than for the mother hen wanting to see their chosen brood all here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Turkey is a member of NATO. Purchased air defense equipment from Russia. The question is why?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan needs to stop propping up the US economy with more arms purchases and stop supporting the US in its aim at world domination. A much better relationship would result between Japan and its neighbours if it stopped supporting the US. Spend the money at home on health, education, infrastructure and not on US defence.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The best shield is peace.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Unfortunately, Confucianism is just a name in Japan, not substance.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The best shield is peace.

But peace must come through agreement, not force. When peace is achieved through force, it can only be maintained through force. When peace is through agreement, it's because the people want peace.

This is why China remains an authoritarian state - sure it's pretty peaceful in the Xianjiang, but the Uighurs have not agreed to this, which is why there is unrest. If the Chinese ever slip up, the Uighurs will take the opportunity to rise up for their independence. Therefore it's a permanent state of opposition. That's not peace. That's just a war with less violence.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Strangerland, why would Uighurs rise up for independence ? who told you that ? which law support that ? It may be your wishful thinking, but let your own people be independent first, return the justice to the natives.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Is this really a shocker? Whether you're trading to attack another or defend oneself, you are part of a market system. When you take a look at the markets Toshiba, Sharp, Olympus, and Sanyo are/were in, you see how these highly competitive companies fell behind to stay innovate and keep a handle on cost pressures. Expect Japan to be part of an arms race.

What is the best advice for Japan? Don't go around poking a stick at the hornets nests. As history has taught, issues from the past, don't stay in the past. Our past is part of who we are moving forward and who we are today. Problems from the past especially don't settle well when we don't deal well with the past. The injustice Germans felt from the punishment they received after WWI led to the ripe conditions for extremism, the rise of Hitler, and WWII. I wonder if blacks will ever be part of a fair society in the US. Conditions there today do nothing to keep the emotions of the past in the history books.

Why have politicians running off to Yasukuni to score political points with their base voters? You do realize this is all at the cost of stirring up deep offense and anger to those who fell under the hegemony of the past? Yes I know, it's a private trip and separate from being politician. Except why is there coverage of it on TV? Just Google LDP visits Yasukuni Shrine and click image You'll find a gaggle of seventy-year old LDP members marching off to Yasukuni a day or two after having lost some election!

Why is there a country of people who when you engage them about the past, they know a few lines from what they have been told? Why is there a society not searching for the truth themselves and trying to match it up to what they have heard? Why is there a society not trying to deeply understand other viewpoints?

Countries will always need defenses. But perhaps a different approach to the status quo can ease the anxieties and pressures of needing to use them. The playbook you've been using has got you where you are today. What choices do you want to make for your future?

Despite the tone of my comment, I love Japan. I want it to succeed!

Downvotes with a counter opinion to any points I've made is welcomed.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Mizu no Oto, your loving Japan is for peace, unlike others they also love Japan but for wars. No one can say good bye to the past because history can't be forgotten. But we can move forward, with history as a teacher who guides our future for good, not for bad again.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The players who push Japan down the wrong paths are those who profit from military build up, those who use it as a tool to maintain power and influence, those who can't step outside of the shadow they are standing in in order to see the light, and those who are too weak to confront the ills of the past.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

My above comment is a reply to Akie

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The country needs to be able to defend itself against any missile attack but instead of buying American weapons should design and build their own defense systems. Taxpayers money taxpayers jobs.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Strangerland: "But peace must come through agreement, not force. When peace is achieved through force, it can only be maintained through force. When peace is through agreement, it's because the people want peace."

This is the corundum that the US is facing: the only way to maintain global dictatorship is to keep flexing one's muscle and this the US has been doing for the past 80 years, hence Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans, Libya, Syria,  the Middle East, South America, Central America, trade wars, sanctions, secondary sanctions. Until the US stops trying to force other nations to accept its view of society and its view of democracy, it will be in a continuous state of war,

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is a great plan for Japan to buildup their defense capabilities and keep people gainfully employed. The only worry Japan should have is getting those "beautiful 2 or 3 page nicely hand written letters by the Rocketman".

@strangerland and rperez; tell that to every other country who has not used force or buildup their military out of rocks and continues because they believe in dialogue.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mizu no Oto, I don't have to ask permission from 1.6 billion Northeast Asians to say this with certainty that Japan is loved for being peaceful. Unlike being told by Abe govt, Japan isn't threatened, or hated by neighbors, why would they ? Neighbors don't like Japan behaves like the past, for historical reasons. In that sense, Japan should have some self respects, stop visiting war criminals in the shrine, no excuses, as simple as that.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Zichi, I'm confident Japan is trying to move in that direction under the guidance of the USA. They would be aiming to create a new Military-industrial complex. The news in past years in Japan mentioned small efforts of the sort seeming to be heading in that direction.

Since many of their engineers with know-how have already left the labor force and Japan being unfamilar with the type of applications desired, it will take them multiple decades to get up to speed. Right now I believe it's Mitsubishi and Honda who both started building smaller planes. Look for them to try to commercially get to the same level as airbus and boeing in the future and later branch out into military applications.

If a Military-industrial complex is Japan's business model, it has longer lasting economic benefits (that's if they stay out of war). A lot of US military research has led to game changing daily applications: the internet, the microwave oven, GPS, Drones, Nylon, Canned Food, M&M's,...

Whether this is going to be a good or bad thing, I can only wonder.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

rlperez@hotmail.com.au , this is Thomas Jefferson's point when he referred to slavery as 'having the Wolf by the Ears'. If you get worn down and tired trying to maintain control over it, you'll lose your grip and risk the wolf attacking and biting you. But if you decide it's better to let go of wolf early because that is the best thing for everyone, you risk the wolf turning against your decision and attacking and biting you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

AkieToday  12:37 pm JST

Mizu no Oto, I don't have to ask permission from 1.6 billion Northeast Asians to say this with certainty that Japan is loved for being peaceful. Unlike being told by Abe govt, Japan isn't threatened, or hated by neighbors, why would they ? Neighbors don't like Japan behaves like the past, for historical reasons. In that sense, Japan should have some self respects, stop visiting war criminals in the shrine, no excuses, as simple as that.

I'm sure many Japanese would agree with you, but it is those in power who usually have the strongest voice. I can say the same for those who hold power over those 1.6 billion Northeast Asians. It's almost always the people who are forced to follow their leaders into war not the other way around.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Heck, the U.S. should bill them too, being as how we've spent billions dealing with the North Koreans and lost thousands of lives that wouldn't have been lost had it not been for China's entering the war on the North Korean side.

And who drew China into the war? You can bill MacArthur and the US of A for drawing China into the war and for MacArthur for insubordination. Hiroshima and Nagasaki took two bombs. MacArthur asked for twenty to be used. What a blockhead

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wouldn't it be nice if everybody diverted all of the money they spend on weapons and whatnot on other things like improving the planet?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

News flash - the DPRK is not going to lob missiles at Japan, much less nuclear missiles, because the downside is too steep. It would find itself the loser in a nuclear war, because the US is not going to allow Kim to get off a second shot. However, with the current paranoid LDP thinking, North Korea could theoretically beggar Japan by continuing to develop new forms of missiles.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The arms trade is big, big business. Conflict and the prospect of conflict is their bread and butter.

Saving lives doesn't generate capital.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

WilliBToday  08:54 am JST

Stupid. NK is no threat to Japan. But these moron politicians seem intent on wasting taxpayer money on political kabuki theater.

Yes.

expatToday  03:09 pm JST

News flash - the DPRK is not going to lob missiles at Japan, much less nuclear missiles, because the downside is too steep. 

Also yes.

Fear mongering using North Korea as the basis is just scapegoat by Japan/US to keep US bases on China's doorstep. If you take out the fear mongering and focus on the real reason then North Korea becomes a sad joke, they know very well they'll be stomped by coillition forces the same day with Kim captured or killed. So these missile defenses are just window dressing.

South Korean cooperation with Japan on missile launch detection is equally as useless, as Japan will never intentionally be targetted.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is the result of taking trump talk.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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