Japan Buttresses Missile Defense To Counter North Korea

Source: Defense Technology International .

The failure of North Korea's much-publicized rocket launch on April 13 occurred as Japan readied its ballistic missile defense (BMD) force to destroy the rocket if it fell toward its territory. The launch, which North Korea claimed would loft a satellite, could have provided a rare opportunity for Japan to collect data on the North Korean missile, against which Japan's BMD system was conceived in the 1990s. Japan's interest in missile defense dates to 1966, when it requested information from the U.S. “for use in planning antimissile defenses” against China for the 1972-77 period. Nothing concrete came of the request, since the Japanese were largely interested in information-gathering. However, as early as 1968, government officials assessed there would be no constitutional impediment to Japanese acquisition of a missile defense system because it could be justified as a defensive weapon ...

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