Saturday’s Yomiuri reported that Defense Minister Kishi told the press on Friday that by deploying the new Aegis destroyers that MOD is considering building as an alternative to the canceled Aegis Ashore system and the eight existing Aegis-equipped vessels, including those currently under maintenance, it would be possible to establish a system for the around-the-clock defense of any part of Japan. The paper said maintaining a constant missile monitoring and interception ability, which is one of the benefits of the land-based Aegis Ashore system, has been regarded as a challenge under the alternative plan. Kishi added that there would be limitations to maintaining around-the-clock missile defense if only the newly built Aegis destroyers were deployed given the need for them to undergo regular maintenance and due to weather conditions. Nikkei ran a similar story.
Today’s Asahi wrote that the GOJ has informally decided to build warships equipped with the missile defense systems developed for the canceled Aegis Ashore batteries, saying the specs for the new vessels will be determined later while taking into account various factors including the cost, which is expected to balloon because converting the ground-based missile defense mechanism for use at sea will be an unprecedented undertaking.