US looks at new early-warning radar for Japan

WASHINGTON — The US military is looking at deploying a new early-warning radar to Japan to help counter possible missile threats from North Korea, a US official said Thursday.

By (AFP)

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Published: Sat 25 Aug 2012, 12:57 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 9:53 AM

“This is an idea under consideration. It makes sense given the threat posed by North Korea,” the US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP.

“But no final decisions have been made,” the official added

An American X-band radar is already in place in northern Japan, at Shariki base in Tsugaru City, on the coast of Aomori prefecture.

Discussions for a possible additional radar come amid concern over North Korea’s efforts to develop a long-range missile as well as US worries over China’s investment in anti-ship missiles.

The Pentagon is looking to bolster the US military’s presence in the Asia-Pacific region and missile defense systems, both sea and land-based, are a crucial part of the strategy.

A Pentagon spokesman declined to comment on the X-band radar or where in Japan it might be deployed.

“Japan is one of the United States’ most significant international missile defense partners. We conduct regular alliance consultations on ways we can enhance and deepen our missile defense cooperation to address the growing threat of ballistic missiles in the region,” said Lieutenant Colonel Damien Pickart in an email.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on the possible radar deployment in its Thursday edition.

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