The deckhouse for the Aegis Ashore system Photo: U.S. Dept of Defense file
politics

Japan may still build Aegis Ashore despite reports of cancellation

27 Comments
By Tim Kelly

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27 Comments
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Japanese should develop defense systems domestically.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

$1 billion for radars!

Are they made of astatine?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Japan may still build Aegis Ashore missile defense systems to defend against attacks by North Korea and other regional rivals, including China, a source told Reuters just weeks after reports that the proposal had been killed.

Japanese government are having difficulty with consistency lately.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Does this sytem even work?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

As hyped in the media, Defense Minister Taro Kono cancelled plans to deploy Aegis Ashore systems to Akita and Yamaguchi Prefectures citing the cost and the concerns that interceptor missiles' boosters cannot be prevented from falling into residential areas.

A military analyst pointed out, however, that there might have been another reason for the cancellation, and that is that the current Aegis Ashore systems cannot shoot down the missiles coming in at a low altitude that Russia has recently developed. Not only that but I also assume the current anti-missile defense systems cannot cope with simultaneously launched multiple missiles, which North Korea ostentatiously demonstrated in their latest test launchings.

It is assumed, however, that intercontinental ballistic missiles won't come in saturation. They come in individually, so that the Aegis Ashore systems may yet be effective to shoot down U.S.-targeted ICBMs and therefore they must be installed somewhere in Japan. So may Washington insist.

Thus, Kono will recant his previous statement and look for new sites to install Aegis Ashore according as instructed by his mentor U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with President Donald Trump watching over him.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Doesn't matter if it works, it's just the same grubby people gagging at the tax payer pockets. Cancelled...just a minute we can spend even more if we build off shore platforms. Or place them in a spot that has no roads no bridges now that's a construction boom. Same people making money that always do. There is no trickle down, just missing billions.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Does this sytem even work?

Yes, for up to 3 missiles at a time. Last year, (hehehe), NK fired 4 at once. That means one would annihilate Tokyo.

Russian systems can shoot down up to 12.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

What they should develop is the ability to make decisions and stick to them... and stop lying.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

First strike, take em out before launch. Something some have a problem with but if you disarm your foe they cannot attack you.

Defense is something Japan 100% needs to have with some of its neighbors being the unfriendly type with stated intent.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Constitution forbids the first strike option.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

First strike, take em out before launch. Something some have a problem with but if you disarm your foe they cannot attack you.

I do find it odd how some folk here want to plunge the region into full scale conflict. Do they actually reside in Japan?

Defense is something Japan 100% needs to have with some of its neighbors being the unfriendly type with stated intent.

Pre-emptive strikes aren't defence.

Keep Japan safe from the warmongers - stay pacifist and dialogue. Always dialogue.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

What they should develop is the ability to make decisions and stick to them... and stop lying

Yes and yes!

Although no one wants war. Absolutely at all costs must and should be avoided but, the 'unfriendly countries' are not asking permission from anyone to build up their own first strike and defense capabilities. Japan would be making a grave mistake by not having anything to truly protect its people.

This capability of defending and fighting for its own existence, although it may not be enough if it came to it, at least it's people could have the peace of mind that there is something which can give hesitation to the 'unfriendly countries' from starting anything in the first place.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Just an idea, and using The Swiss as an example they didn't get involed in not one but two world wars. Obviously with Japan's history and leadership that's a tall order but one day I hope Japan can relax be at peace. Fight wars not war.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

CrickyToday 01:18 pm JST

Just an idea, and using The Swiss as an example they didn't get involed in not one but two world wars. Obviously with Japan's history and leadership that's a tall order but one day I hope Japan can relax be at peace.

The Swiss are also armed to the teeth where all citizens are called into duty when another nation tries to attack them. All male at a certain age are drafted into duty and are issued weapons to be kept in storage at home after training has been completed.

Don't think it will happen.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

One locationto consider: Senkaku Islets. If Japan says this is really their land then do it. China built islands and no one did nothing so what is the problem? Is this land not Japans?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@Tiring yes I know that I've been there, my point is they have avoided two world wars, by not getting involved. It's just an idea that Japan could at least try to be neutral. Arm up but neutral. It's not like Japan has a plethora of natural recorces coverted by anyone. Japan's neighbors are just out for payback, is it so hard to say genuinely sorry about our past? Let's remember and move on? Or is the loss of face just too big a burden.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

First strike, take em out before launch. Something some have a problem with but if you disarm your foe they cannot attack you.

Defense is something Japan 100% needs to have with some of its neighbors being the unfriendly type with stated intent.

Or they could try denying its history, own up to it , double down on friendly diplomacy and develop positive regional relations with its neighbors. Way cheaper and at least as effective. But since there is no pork for MI complex in that, it will not happen.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Here's the thing. A 'missile defense system' like these are a great defence, ON PAPER, against attack, but in reality, any nation that is going to attack has the capability to produce enough conventional missiles that the very limited number the 'defense' can shoot down won't even be noticed, which means that, in the real world, they are worthless as a defense against another nation.

And any nation that is attacking with nuclear armed missiles is going to send the first couple fused to be 'airbursts' that'll produce an EMP that'll knock out the system, along with a wave of dummy missiles to accompany them, again meaning that they are worthless as a defense against another nation.

So, that leaves the only real world use for these insanely expensive 'defence systems' as being to protect against terrorists who've purchased/captured/stolen a few missiles. But, again, while on paper they'd work, in the real world any terrorists who have the resources to aquire such missiles would also have the capability to insert them into the cargo stream, and so slipping around the 'Aegis Line' as effectively as the Germans slipped around the 'Maginoit Line',

Which means that in the real world, these billion dollar defences are about as much use as the moat around the Emperor's residency is.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Japan, you have to make a decision. The longer you wait, the longer it will take to implement a defense system. And with China being bold out at sea and North Korean weapon development, the clock doth tick.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

First strike is clearly unconstitutional. The Aegis system does not appear to be particularly capable for the money, easily overwhelmed by not very many simultaneous launches let alone dummy and low flying missiles. While there undoubtedly is a need for a defensive system, this does not appear to fit the bill.

Pacifism as has been shown in the last century, does not work with aggressive, militarised dictatorships and unfortunately for Japan they have three in close proximity.

The Swiss are not a valid comparison, they as said above have a tradition of everyone being ready to fight invaders and have spent centuries turning a naturally defensive position in to a fortress so it is far too expensive to conquer though not undoable.

Japan is not in the same position, the population and liveable space largely is on the coastal plains which are easily over run, or if you don’t intend to invade, simply obliterated with nuclear missiles.

Not a comfortable place to be in if you are tasked with defending the country and it’s people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Toasted HereticToday  12:04 pm JST

Pre-emptive strikes aren't defence.

Keep Japan safe from the warmongers - stay pacifist and dialogue. Always dialogue.

So if some country announces that they are going to nuke Tokyo and US satellite intel says they are going to launch in the next 24 hours, Japan must wait until millions of people are dead before they can do anything?

Please feel free to go talk to the war mongers in China and North Korea. I'm sure dialogue will be productive.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Long Overdue.

Building your own missile defense system should have been top priority of the government decades ago.

It's a defensive weapon which is necessary to protect Japan.

The quality, performance, reliability of a missile defense system will be handle better and performed better if Japan builds it from scratch.

-America was not able to protect itself from missiles fired from Iran.

-America was not able to protect and defend Saudi Arabia when they got hit with cruise missiles. Saudis even have America missile shield and it Failed.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Does this system even work?

It works better than no system at all, even if it doesn't work because the enemy doesn't know if it works or not. My guess is that it doesn't work as well as the one clip of it working shown to the J-SDF big wigs. Its mostly about peace of mind for J politicians knowing that they've spent billions of dollars on something they've been told works. If it doesn't, thats not their problem.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"A military analyst pointed out, however, that there might have been another reason for the cancellation, and that is that the current Aegis Ashore systems cannot shoot down the missiles coming in at a low altitude that Russia has recently developed. "

Where does this nonsense come from? Russia has had sea skimming cruise missiles for decades. The technology for these goes back to the 1970s. They are what drove the Navy to develop AEGIS in the first place. The SPY-1 radars used by the AEGIS system are quite capable of tracking sea skimming targets. They can even track artillery and were used to direct counter battery fire during the US engagement in Lebanon all those years ago. The earliest model of AEGIS used on the first units of the Ticonderoga Class cruisers were limited in their ability to track sea skimming missiles but all of those units are decommissioned. The version of AEGIS in use today is really a completely different system, vastly better. The SPY-6 radars that are replacing the SPY-1s are better still.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"And any nation that is attacking with nuclear armed missiles is going to send the first couple fused to be 'airbursts' that'll produce an EMP that'll knock out the system, along with a wave of dummy missiles to accompany them, again meaning that they are worthless as a defense against another nation."

Sigh. EMP is well understood and the US military has built EMP hardened systems for many decades. And, obtw, a warship has so many radars and other high powered radios and other emitters on board that systems are well protected just to survive in the concentrated electromagnetic radiation environment of a modern combat ship. Think about all the radars on the superstructure in close proximity to communications antennas, high powered jammers, various ESM sensors, fire control radars, etc.

The US has an EMP lab that tests all kinds of civil infrastructure against the effects of EMP. The systems most at risk are business and home computers and home entertainment systems with un-shielded cable runs. They act as antennas to concentrate EMP. Cars do surprisingly well. Credit the necessity of having to shield computerized engine management systems from high output sound systems, and vice-versa. Cars that were not running when subjected to EMP suffered no damage. About half the cars that were running when hit by EMP were unaffected. Most of the remainder just needed to be turned off and re-started or they shut down but were able to re-start and show no residual effects. A few suffered problems like warped guages (some VW products) . Only a very small number suffered permanent damage to one of their processors and were unable to re-start. Most cars are very well shielded from EMP.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Yes, for up to 3 missiles at a time."

The actual number is classified but AEGIS can track and engage hundreds of targets simultaneously. The radars can track targets in space. The Russians have nothing comparable. China however probably comes close with the radars on the Type 052D and Type 055 destroyers. Anybody who knows what they are capable of isn't blogging it in open sources however. The range of the SM-3 Block II missile the US and Japan are co-developing is far beyond anything Russia or China has. Much longer ranged than THAAD too. The BMD features of AEGIS (it's a lot more than just a ballistic missile defense system) combined with SM-3 have a very good test history. I am not aware of a better tested and more capable system in service anywhere.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The idea that one can be safe by not protecting one's self is fallacious and extremely deleterious. Studies should of course be done as to what are the most effective technologies for self-defense. I for one am not qualified to judge the efficacy of the Aegis systems, but to do nothing is not an option.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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