Reports say the Japanese government is considering adding two more Aegis-equipped ships to its fleet in preparation for any threats from North Korea’s missile testing program, or the ongoing territorial dispute with China over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands. Currently, Japan has six destroyers in its fleet, but the administration has been looking into strengthening the country’s military assets to deal with imminent danger.
The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper said that the government has already started looking into building two vessels that will be equipped with advanced interceptor missiles to join the six that were developed by the US using the Aegis combat system. According to the Defense Ministry spokesman Tsuyoshi Hirata, reinforcing the fleet is still being considered as part of the review of the defense program. “What the formation of the Self-Defence Forces should be like in the future will be studied when (the government) reviews the basic defence programme,” he added.
The report in the paper said that the Aegis ships are not to be built to counter missiles from China, but it would be a big boost to Japan’s vigilance capabilities if it can actually send out ships with powerful radar systems to monitor the areas around the southwest islands. China has been strengthening its military surveillance on the seas as tensions continue to rise between the two East Asian neighbours.
[ via Yahoo ]