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Japan, U.S. Reveal Location for Early-Warning Radar
The United States and Japan on Thursday announced the location of a second long-range radar that will be fielded within the upcoming year in the East Asian nation in order to improve early detection and tracking of potential North Korean ballistic-missile firings, the Associated Press reported.
"Particularly with respect to [the] North Korean nuclear program, in Kyoto city, the Kyogamisaki sub-base has been selected as a site for additional deployment of our TPY-2 radar," Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said at a press conference, which was attended by Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
The four men had just concluded a round of bilateral security discussions that focused on how to rejuvenate the U.S.-Japan alliance to better respond to modern threats, particularly North Korea's continuing ballistic missile and nuclear weapon advancements, AP reported.
Just over a year ago, the two allies announced they had agreed Japan would host a second AN/TPY-2 radar. The first X-band radar is already fielded at the Shariki military base in northern Japan. The new movable radar will be deployed in the central part of the country.
An unidentified U.S. official said the second radar will supply improved coverage should there be a North Korean missile strike.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry did not have an initial response to the Thursday announcement of the radar's planned fielding at Kyogamisaki. The ministry last month said the radar would not help regional nonproliferation efforts and would have "an extremely negative impact on the global strategic balance."
Beijing does not wholly accept U.S. and Japanese insistence that their missile-defense cooperation efforts are focused solely on addressing the North Korean nuclear threat. Rather, China sees an allied plan to undermine its own strategic-missile deterrent.
The AN/TPY-2 radar is designed to supply early monitoring of a missile once it enters space, Bloomberg reported. The radar would supply data to Japanese and U.S. Aegis-equipped warships that could attempt a missile intercept should North Korea launch an attack.
The radar's arrival in the Pacific will enable the U.S. Navy to reassign to other parts of the globe some of the Aegis missile destroyers that presently are deployed in the region, the New York Times reported.
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This article provides an overview of Japan’s historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.