Russia fumes at Japan missile deployment
Russia has blasted a decision by Japan to deploy a new US-made land-based missile system, prompting Japanese defence chief Itsunori Onodera to reassure Moscow yesterday that the new Aegis Ashore system would "purely be for defensive purposes".
Last month, Japan confirmed its purchase of two Aegis Ashore batteries comprising computers, radars and missiles from the United States, to boost its defences against incoming ballistic missiles amid fears about North Korea. Roll-out is slated for 2023 at the earliest.
"The Aegis Ashore will be operated independently by Japan, and will not pose any threat to surrounding countries, including Russia," Mr Onodera said on Tuesday (Jan 16), a day after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the move by Tokyo would inevitably mar Russo-Japan ties.
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