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After last week’s decision to suspend deployment of Aegis Ashore missile defense systems — which is looking more like cancellation each day — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that Japan needs to discuss ways to strengthen its deterrence.

What he means — or more precisely, what he wants — is not yet clear, but he is right to call for a conversation on ways to strengthen Japan’s national defense. The security environment continues to evolve and Japan must think creatively about how it can address new threats and challenges.

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