Japan defense chief to visit Guam to inspect missile defense system

Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada said Tuesday she will visit Guam to inspect an advanced US anti-ballistic missile defense system called THAAD as her country seeks to strengthen its defense against threats from North Korea.

“The Defense Ministry has no concrete plan to introduce THAAD at this stage, but the installation of this kind of new asset can be one of the measures to reinforce our (missile defense) capabilities,” the minister told a press conference, referring to the US missile defense known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense.

Inada, who plans to make a two-day trip to Guam from Thursday, said North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs pose “a new level of threat” and that the Defense Ministry is considering ways to beef up Japan’s own ballistic missile defense system. (PNA/Kyodo)