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Japan Streamlines ABM Command And Control

The new 'must have' for the world's navies

Washington (UPI) Aug 08, 2005
The Japanese parliament has streamlined procedures under which the head of its Defense Agency chief can order emergency missile interceptions without waiting for approval from the prime minister and the Cabinet The move paves the way for introduction of a missile defense system in 2007, the Japan Times reported.

During a plenary session on July 22, the House of Councilors, the upper house of parliament, passed a bill to add missile-defense provisions to the Self-Defense Forces Law. The bill was passed with a majority vote by the ruling coalition; it cleared the House of Representatives, the lower house of parliament, in June.

Under a new article on intercepting ballistic missiles, the Defense Agency chief will seek permission from the prime minister to deploy the missile shield, including Aegis vessels, if evidence of an imminent missile attack is detected. Evidence of this kind would include fueling missile launchers. The SDF would then launch interceptors if any missiles are fired toward Japan, the Japan Times said.

If there are no clear signs of a launch but conditions call for high alert and there is no time to seek consent, the agency chief can also mobilize the SDF to stand by for any sudden attack and order an intercept under emergency guidelines approved in advance by the prime minister, the paper said.

"We must prepare a missile defense system to counter a very new threat," Defense Agency Director General Yoshinori Ono told a news conference. "If a missile comes flying toward Japan, we must shoot it down to protect the lives and assets of our citizens before responding with defense mobilization." With North Korea apparently in mind, the Defense Agency advocates expedited procedures for intercept orders. Because a ballistic missile from the North could reach Japan in about 10 minutes, there would be no time to wait for approval from the Cabinet and the Security Council of Japan.

Japan plans to start deploying ground-based Patriot Advanced Capability 3 interceptor missiles by March 2007, and the Standard Missile 3 to be mounted on Aegis vessels by March 2008.

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SBX Radar Takes Giant Stride Forward
Washington (UPI) Jul 29, 2005
The U.S. Missile Defense Agency and the Boeing Corporation this week celebrated the dedication of their new Sea-Based X-Band Radar, a crucial step forward in developing any effective anti-ballistic missile system.

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