A top policy planner of the Liberal Democratic Party has urged the government to allocate funds in fiscal 1999 for U.S.-proposed joint study on the theater missile defense system.

“I personally believe it should be moved one step forward in allocation requests for the next fiscal year’s budget,” Yamasaki was quoted as saying Tuesday.

His comment was in response to comments made by former Construction Minister Shizuka Kamei, who said he saw the need for Japan to establish a “self-defense system against nuclear attacks.” A party official said Kamei made the remarks in connection with the nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan last month.

Yasuhiro Ogoshi, chief of the Defense Agency’s secretariat, said, however, that the agency has yet to decide whether to request budgetary appropriations for the TMD study in fiscal 1999. “We’re still examining the technological feasibility of the TMD, and have not yet reached a conclusion,” Ogoshi said, commenting on Yamasaki’s remarks. However, the Defense Agency said Wednesday that during fiscal 1999, it plans to launch a technological study on the U.S.-proposed theater missile defense system.

Because of the exorbitant cost required to develop the TMD, the U.S. has been asking Japan for technological and financial cooperation.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.