That system would be based on the land-based missile defense facilities the US Navy has deployed in Romania and is preparing to activate in Poland.
Aegis vessels equipped with SM-3 interceptors form the main pillar of Japan's missile defense system. "It will also improve JMSDF' interoperability with USA missile defense systems, and increase the protection for US installations in the region".
Onodera said he did not discuss in detail with Greaves expenses for introducing the Aegis Ashore, but felt US "efforts to reduce the costs".
The installation of the systems will constitute a violation of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty between Moscow and the USA, she argued, noting that the US-made ballistic defense systems are equipped with universal launchers that could carry all types of missiles.
Among countries close to Japan, China is known to be putting muscle into the development of cruise missiles that can travel faster and have a range longer than conventional ones. The Aegis system is not created to intercept such missiles. One or two are engaged in warning and surveillance activities in the Sea of Japan.
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Under the new system, even if Aegis vessels in the Sea of Japan were to use up all their missiles, it is expected that Aegis vessels stationed in the Pacific Ocean or other distant waters could shoot down a target. He argued that the continuation of a nuclear-armed North Korea was "absolutely unacceptable".
The Japanese government also considers a possibility to install this interception system on some other warships after carrying out necessary technical upgrade, the news outlet added.
Reuters reported in December that the cost of building two Aegis Ashore batteries without the missiles would be at least $2 billion and it was not likely to be operational until 2023 at the earliest.
Onodera's comment suggests that Japan should expand the Aegis Ashore to be prepared for possible cruise missile attacks.