Japan to expand ballistic missile defence
Japan has formally decided to expand its ballistic missile defence system with US-made ground-based Aegis radar stations and interceptors in response to a growing threat from North Korean rockets.
A proposal to build two Aegis Ashore batteries was approved by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet.
The sites without the missiles are not likely to be operational until 2023 at the earliest, sources familiar with the plan told Reuters.James May talks Grand Tour's season two
"The threat posed to our country by North Korea's nuclear and missile development has reached a new stage," the defence ministry said in a statement.
The decision to acquire the ground version of the Aegis missile-defence system, which is already deployed on Japanese warships, was widely expected.
North Korea on November 29 tested a new, more powerful ballistic missile that it says can hit major US cities including Washington, and fly over Japan's current defence shield.Trump: US foolish for giving Pakistan aid
That rocket reached an altitude of more than 4000 km,well above the range of interceptor missiles on Japanese ships operating in the Sea of Japan.
North Korea says its weapons programs are necessary to counter US aggression.