U.S. to deploy mobile radar in Kyoto Prefecture to detect missile launches

August 02, 2013

By MASAOMI OGAWA/ Staff Writer

KYOTO—The Kyoto governor and Kyotango mayor will allow the U.S. military to set up a facility on the Tango Peninsula facing the Sea of Japan to monitor North Korean missile launches.

Kyoto Governor Keiji Yamada and Kyotango Mayor Yasushi Nakayama agreed at a meeting on Aug. 1 to accept the facility, which was part of an agreement reached between the Japanese and U.S. governments to deploy the mobile X-band Radar.

Despite their reservations, Yamada and Nakayama said they decided to accept the facility for the greater good of the nation.

The radar will transmit data on ballistic missile launches to warships equipped with Aegis air defense systems and ground-based interceptor missile sites.

The mobile X-band Radar system weighs about 34 tons and is about 13 meters in length. It can distinguish differing types of warheads flying more than 1,000 kilometers away.

The U.S. military is expected to assign about 160 service personnel and civilian employees to the monitoring station in the city of Kyotango.

Local residents have expressed concern over the deployment of U.S. soldiers to the area and over potential crimes and accidents. They have also expressed concern over possible health hazards that may result from the radar’s electromagnetic waves.

The United States currently has an X-band Radar system deployed at its Shariki Communication Site in Tsugaru, Aomori Prefecture. At the Japan-U.S. summit held in the United States in February, the two countries agreed to deploy the X-band Radar to a second location.

After the summit, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera listed an area near the Air Self-Defense Force’s Kyogamisaki Sub Base in the city of Kyotango as a candidate location.

The United States will deploy the radar and its support personnel next to the ASDF site.

In the Kinki region, which includes Osaka, Kyoto and Nara, U.S. forces maintained a communication facility on Mount Rokkosan in Hyogo Prefecture. However, the site was returned to Japan in 1992.

If the new monitoring station is established at the location in northern Kyoto Prefecture, it will be the U.S. military’s only facility in the Kinki region.

By MASAOMI OGAWA/ Staff Writer
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X-band Radar (Provided by the Defense Ministry)

X-band Radar (Provided by the Defense Ministry)

  • X-band Radar (Provided by the Defense Ministry)

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