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US to continue missile defense talks with Japan

The US is continuing discussions with Japan on maintaining close relations in regards to the field of missile defense. (AFP)
The US is continuing discussions with Japan on maintaining close relations in regards to the field of missile defense. (AFP)
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19 Jun 2020 01:06:11 GMT9
19 Jun 2020 01:06:11 GMT9

WASHINGTON: The United States will continue discussions with Japan to maintain close cooperation in the field of missile defense, senior US Department of Defense official David Helvey said Thursday.

The remark came after the Japanese government recently decided to suspend the planned deployment of the US-developed Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense system.

"We understand that the government of Japan is reviewing some technical aspects of the program to determine a more cost-effective alternative," Helvey, acting assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, said in a conference call.

Noting that the US government is holding talks with Japan to address technical issues, Helvey said, "We want to maintain those communications with the government of Japan and work with them to find the right way forward to ensure that we're continuing to work closely with them on missile defense."

Japan "remains a model partner for us in missile defense," he added.

On the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force's next-generation fighter to succeed the retiring F-2, Helvey said it is "a Japan-led initiative" while suggesting that the US industry would possibly be able to play a role if joint development is conducted.

"These are decisions that the government of Japan needs to make, and as an ally, we are ready to support and work with them to develop an alliance capability," he added.

JIJI Press

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