Japan’s plan for building anti-missile ships would undermine regional peace – Global Times

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Tokyo has told Washington that building specialized ships to counter ballistic missiles is the most viable alternative to the scrapped plan to deploy land-based, US-developed Aegis Ashore systems, a Japanese government sources said on Saturday, Kyodo News reported.

Japan announced in June it would suspend the plan to deploy land-based Aegis Ashore systems due to cost and technical problems. There are several reasons why Japan says building specialized ships to counter ballistic missiles are the most viable alternative. The first is trying to fill the shortfall of an arms deal with the US as it canceled the previous plan to deploy Aegis Ashore systems. 

Second, Tokyo hopes to reduce the sensitive nature of the project to avoid being targeted by many countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Judging from its name, building specialized ships to counter ballistic missiles seems to underline the defensive and lowering sensitivity. Seoul’s plan to deploy Terminal High Altitude Area Defense in 2017 caused relations with many neighboring countries to deteriorate. Tokyo appears to have drawn a lesson from Seoul’s experience.

Third, the effect of sea-based deployment would be better than land-based. Japan is surrounded by the sea and has to bear the possibility of being attacked by ballistic missiles from different directions. Sea-based deployment to counter ballistic missiles will increase its flexibility to deal with potential attacks. 

Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution outlaws war as a mean to settle international disputes involving the state. The article requires, Japan to formally renounces the sovereign right of