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U.S. to send drones to Japan under new defense pact

- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 3, 2013

The United States and Japan forged an agreement on Thursday that modernizes allied security forces — the first time in 16 years — and includes the shipping of drones to the East Asian island.

The pact is a 10-page statement that is partly the result of a U.S. push for Japan to take a larger role in its defense plans at a time when North Korean and Chinese threats are on the rise, NBC reported.

Specifically, the agreement calls for the United States to send in rotations of U.S. Global Hawk reconnaissance drones to Japan and to help out with that country's development of a cyberspace defense system.

"Our goal is a more balanced and effective alliance," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said, NBC reported.

He was accompanied by Secretary of State John Kerry, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera.

The four further agreed to put a new X-band missile-defense radar system from the United States at the Kyogamisaki air base in Kyoto and for Japan to assume some of the costs of relocating 5,000 U.S. Marines in Okinawa to Guam. Japan agreed to pay $3.1 billion of the estimated $8.6 billion it's going to take to move the Marines, NBC reported.

The relocation of the Marines comes on the tail of an order from President Obama to shift military strategy to the Asia-Pacific region, and away from the regions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

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