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Sugio TAKAHASHI

Ballistic Missile Defense in Japan: Deterrence and Military Transformation

Asie.Visions n°59/Proliferation Papers n°44, décembre 2012

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In December 2003, Japan decided to be the second country in the Asia-Pacific to deploy a ballistic missile defense (BMD) system. Started in the 1980s as a defense industry cooperation initiative, BMD efforts have been highly prioritized since the 1998 North Korean missile launch to cope with the clear and immediate threat from Pyongyang. However, BMD means more for Japan than a mere response to the ballistic threat: It has transformed the organization and command and control system of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF), brought Japan and the United States to deepen their operational cooperation, and changed Japanese thinking about extended deterrence. 

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