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(Tentative translation)


19 December 2003

1.The Government of Japan decided "On Introduction of Ballistic Missile Defense System and Other Measures" at the Security Council and the Cabinet Council today. This decision shows the thinking behind the introduction of BMD system, and at the same time, indicates the direction of Japan's defense force review taking into account the introduction of BMD system and the new security environment. Based on this decision, the Government of Japan will formulate a new National Defense Program Outline and a new Mid-Term Defense Program by the end of the year 2004.
2.The Government of Japan, recognizing that rapid progress on the relevant technologies of BMD has recently been made and that technological feasibility of BMD system is high, and noting that BMD system is suitable for our exclusively defensive national defense policy, decided to introduce the multi-layered defense system based on the Aegis BMD system and Patriot PAC-3 (Patriot Advanced Capability-3).
3.The technological feasibility of BMD system has been verified through the results of interception tests and various performance evaluations in the United States and also through our own simulation results. It is concluded that these systems with high technological reliability meets the high technical standards to enable the introduction, as was shown by the U.S. decision on the initial deployment.
4.BMD system is the only and purely defensive measure, without alternatives, to protect life and property of the citizens of Japan against ballistic missile attacks, and meets the principle of exclusively defense-oriented national defense policy. Therefore, it is considered that this presents no threat to neighboring countries, and does not affect the regional stability.
5.As for the issue of the right of collective self-defense, the BMD system that the Government of Japan is introducing aims at defending Japan. It will be operated based on Japan's independent judgment, and will not be used for the purpose of defending third countries. Therefore, it does not raise any problems with regard to the issue of the right of collective self-defense. The BMD system requires interception of missiles by Japan's own independent judgment based on the information on the target acquired by Japan's own sensors.
6.In legal terms on the operation of the BMD system, interception of ballistic missile attack is basically conducted under Defense Operations Order in Armed Attack Situation. In addition, due to the nature of ballistic missile and the characteristics of BMD, the Government will conduct specific studies on necessary measures including legal ones, which enable appropriate responses to each situation.
7.The Japan-U.S. Joint Technological Research Project currently undergoing is not for the system being introduced this time, but it aims to improve the capability of future interceptor. It remains important to carry on the Research Project in order to take all possible measures to ensure national defense. The future transition to the development and deployment stage will be decided separately, taking international situations of the time and other factors into consideration.
8.Japan will take all possible measures to ensure national defense and prevention of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, by ensuring transparency and encouraging international understanding on BMD, and by promoting further cooperation with the United States on technology and operation.