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Inside the Ring: Chinese pressure points
Question of the Day
JAPAN RADAR SITE
A defense official confirmed to Inside the Ring that the second X-band radar used in tracking and shooting down missiles will be located at the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces’ base near Kyotango. The base is about 65 miles northeast of the ancient capital of Kyoto.
The TPY-2 system uses a high-resolution, phased-array X-band radar to detect missiles shortly after launch. It can then transfer the data to missile-defense interceptor systems based on the ground or on Aegis ships carrying interceptor missiles.
The new radar was announced in September as part of efforts to increase cooperation with Japan on missile defense.
“The focus of this is to enhance our ability to defend Japan,” then-Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said. “It’s also designed to help forward-deployed U.S. forces, and it also will be effective in protecting the U.S. homeland from the North Korean ballistic missile threat.”
North Korea denounced the radar plan, saying it would escalate tensions.
China, through its official think tanks, criticized the new X-band radar as promoting Japanese aggressiveness.
Adding a second X-band radar in Japan will increase regional missile-defense coverage over large areas of the western Pacific by overlapping radar beams from another U.S. radar in Japan. It also will relieve missile-shooting Aegis ships from having to provide radar coverage.
China recently stepped up missile deployments along the coast near the Senkaku islands, a defense official said. The uninhabited islands are the center of a major dispute between Tokyo and Beijing as they sit atop large undersea oil and gas deposits.
Tensions were heightened earlier this month when a Chinese warship used a targeting radar to illuminate a Japanese coast guard ship.
The first radar is on the Shariki Air Self Defense Force base in northern Japan.
STATE SILENT ON RUSSIA TALKS
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About the Author
Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
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