Kyoto officials have granted the U.S. military permission to build a facility in the city of Kyotango where an X-Band Radar will be set up. The mobile radar will be used to watch out for missile launches from North Korea. Kyotango was chosen for its conducive location for monitoring purposes as it lies at the northwest point of Tango Peninsula in Kyoto Prefecture, facing the Sea of Japan.
Having an X-Band Radar in Japan for missile-monitoring purposes has already been agreed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Barack Obama when the two met in Washington on February this year. During a meeting on Thursday, Kyoto Governor Keiji Yamada and Kyotango Mayor Yasushi Nakayama gave their green light ending the United States’ negotiations with local authorities. Both expressed reservations prior to their decision, as local residents deemed that the X-Band Radar may impose health risks because of its electromagnetic waves. The two finally agreed weighing its effect on national security.
The 34-ton X-Band Radar, which is also used in the Negev Desert in Israel to watch out for missile launches from Iran, is capable of airspace monitoring beyond 1,000 kilometres. Potential missile-launch activities detected by the radar will be transmitted to a warship equipped with Aegis Combat System for further verification. It can also transmit data to land-based interceptor facilities.
The United States is said to deploy 160 personnel, both military and civilian, to man the facility in Kyotango. The facility is said to be built next to the Air Self-Defense Forces base in Kyotango. When completed, the X-Band Radar is said to be the first of its kind the Kinki Region.
[via Asahi Shimbun]