Japan will not shoot down missiles headed for allies

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Flag of Japan
Flag of Japan

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi announced on Friday that Japan will not shoot down missiles that are headed for its allies.

Koizumi spoke at the plenary meeting of the Upper House of the Japanese Parliament.

"The purpose of our country's missile defense is to intercept incoming missiles targeting Japan," said Koizumi. "We are not thinking of dealing with other missiles targeting our allies."

Koizumi pointed out that the angle and altitude of a missile in flight could be used to determine the target of the missile. He went on to clarify that he believed Japan could provide data about missiles to the United States without violating Japan's constitution.

Japan plans to install several American-made Patriot "Pak-3" complexes for its land-based defense systems, and later plans to install the American-made Aegis combat system on its naval ships.