Why the US Must Pursue a Cooperative Japanese-US Theater Missile Defense Program   [open pdf - 1MB]

"Despite eight years of study on a proposed Japanese-United States multi-billion dollar theater missile defense (TMD) development program, recent reports indicate Japan may be reluctant to continue to participate in this effort for fear of offending China and overspending scarce military resources. Clearly, to preserve United States and Japanese enduring interests in the highly volatile, dynamic Asian security environment, the United States must continue to aggressively pursue Japanese cooperative support for this essential defense program. Integrated TMD systems support our regional interests by maintaining a strong defensive posture to deter aggressors, protect our forces and freedom of navigation, and defeat or negate ballistic missile delivered weapons of mass destruction should diplomatic or deterrence efforts fail. Additionally, the program would further strengthen our bilateral security arrangement in major areas, such as enhanced technology transfer and improved interoperability. This essay explores the current and future ballistic missile threats to vital national interest in the region, describes the proposed TMD cooperation program, analyzes the major advantages and opposing views of this program, and outlines policy recommendations to ensure its success."

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