An advanced U.S. military radar will be installed at an Air Self-Defense Force base in Kyoto Prefecture near the Sea of Japan coast next year, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Thursday. It will be the second such installation in Japan.
With the capability to precisely track the trajectory of ballistic missiles, the so-called X-band radar is considered important in defending against the North Korean missile threat.
The second X-band radar system will be set up on the ASDF Kyogamisaki subbase in the city of Kyotango, after a similar system was set up on the ASDF Shariki subbase in the city of Tsugaru, Aomori Prefecture.
Onodera said the ministry is close to striking a deal to acquire land around the Kyogamisaki base to construct facilities for U.S. service members and technicians who will operate the radar.
“We will be able to provide (the land) to the U.S. side within the year,” he said.
In April, Onodera agreed with his U.S. counterpart, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, in Washington on plans to deploy another X-band radar in Kyoto Prefecture in light of North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats.