11:36 GMT05 March 2021
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    TOKYO (Sputnik) - Japan intends to stop deployment of Aegis Ashore, a US missile defence system, because of its cost and the deployment schedule, Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono said Monday.

    "We intend to stop the process of deployment [of the system] because of its cost and deployment time," the minister said as quoted by the Kyodo news agency.

    According to the minister, one of the reasons for this decision was the difficulty in ensuring a secure fall of the interceptor. At the same tome, Japan will continue using Aegis on its ships.

    Japan is currently protected by four destroyers equipped with US Aegis missile defence systems carrying SM-3 intercept missiles as well as modernised surface-to-air PAC-3 ballistic missile interceptors.

    US, Aegis Ashore, Japan
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