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US continuing talks with Japan after Aegis Ashore missile defense system suspension – Pentagon

The United States is still in talks with Japan about its concerns regarding US-made Aegis Ashore missile defense radar stations, a senior US official said on Thursday. David Helvey, the acting assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, made the statement after Tokyo suspended plans to deploy two of the stations.

“Right now, our focus is on having the technical discussion with our Japanese allies to understand the nature of the concerns and to determine the right path forward for this type of cooperation,” Helvey told reporters.

Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono said on Monday that he had suspended plans to deploy two Aegis Ashore radar stations allegedly designed to detect and counter North Korean ballistic missiles. Kono stated that Tokyo was halting the deployment due to technical issues as well as cost.

The two proposed Lockheed Martin radar sites, in the northern prefecture of Akita and the Yamaguchi prefecture in southern Japan, had also faced opposition from local residents, according to Reuters.

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