Tokyo, Sept. 15 (Jiji Press)–Japan will continue discussions on missile defense including possible attacks on enemy bases under a new prime minister, Defense Minister Taro Kono said Tuesday.
The thoughts of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe “will be passed down to the next prime minister,” Kono told a press conference.
“As neighboring countries have been actively acquiring new missile technology, we have to thoroughly discuss how to protect our country,” Kono said.
In a statement released Friday, Abe said the government will identify missile defense policies to be undertaken by the end of this year.
On Wednesday, Abe is set to step down and Yoshihide Suga, new president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, is expected to be elected his successor in parliament.
Kono expressed his hope that a conclusion on an alternative to the scrapped plan to deploy the Aegis Ashore land-based interceptor missile system will be reached by the compilation of the fiscal 2021 budget bill.
He defended his decision to scrap the Aegis Ashore plan, saying that there was no other option.