Japan approves purchase of missile defend system amid North Korea threat

Japan’s cabinet has approved a plan to purchase a set of costly land-based US missile combat systems to step up the country’s defence capability amid escalating threats from North Korea. Tuesday’s approval will allow the Defence Ministry to buy two Aegis Ashore systems to add to Japan’s current two-step missile defence consisting of Patriot batteries and Aegis-equipped destroyers. The purchase would add to growing defence costs as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government pushes to allow Japan’s military a greater international role and boost its missile combat capability. The deployment is planned for 2023.