The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has set up a working team to examine Japan’s future missile defense system in the wake of the suspension of the Aegis Ashore deployment process.
As an alternative plan to deploying Aegis Ashore in Akita and Yamaguchi prefectures which has already been suspended, the working team is considering the construction of additional Aegis ships for the JMSDF and the installation of vertical launching system (VLS) on mega-floats.
However, the JMSDF has expressed difficulties in building additional Aegis ships. On June 16, 2020, JMSDF Chief of Staff Hiroshi Yamamura pointed out at a press conference that the Aegis ship needs a lot of crew (for example the JMSDF latest destroyers, the Maya-class, have a crew complement of about 300 sailors) and recruitment for the additional crew would be a problem. Yamamura also made it clear that a system like Aegis Ashore is needed for year-round continuous (24/7, 365 days per year) ballistic missile defense (BMD) because operations of Aegis ships are dependent on the weather condition and other multiple factors.
In addition, the JMSDF wants to send Aegis ships to the East China Sea and the Pacific Ocean in response to China’s growing maritime expansion, and the constant deployment of Aegis ships in the Sea of Japan