Japan yesterday said it picked Lockheed Martin to build a powerful new US$1.2 billion radar system for two ground-based Aegis ballistic missile defense stations meant to guard against North Korean missile strikes.
“By using this new radar, we will increase our ability to cope with missiles on lofted trajectories raising the level of ballistic missile defense,” Japanese Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera said.
The decision is the latest sign that Japan is forging ahead with plans to reinforce its defenses despite a North Korean pledge to denuclearize. The purchase could also help Tokyo ease trade friction with Washington as its key ally threatens to impose tariffs on Japanese auto imports.
The two radars would cost about ￥130 billion (US$1.17 billion) each, with maintenance and other operational costs putting the estimated budget at the two sites over 30 years at ￥466 billion, a Ministry of Defense news release said.
The radar decision means that Aegis Ashore can be added to a defense budget proposal slated for release next month ahead of any meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump in September, when Abe is expected to attend the UN in New York.
Trump has cranked up pressure on Tokyo with tariffs on steel and threats of levies on car imports, although during a visit to Tokyo in November he welcomed Japan’s procurement of Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighters and urged Japan to buy more US weapons and “billions and billions of dollars of additional products of all kinds.”
The Aegis Ashore radar choice was between Raytheon’s Spy-6 radar, designed to upgrade the US Navy’s fleet of Aegis warships, and a version of Lockheed Martin’s Long Range Discrimination Radar, which is to be deployed in the US’ Ground-Based Midcourse Defense missile system in Alaska in 2020.
Both radars have far greater ranges than current Aegis radars operated by Japan or the US.
Japan needs more powerful detection so that its new longer-range interceptor missiles can provide a more effective defense against North Korean launches and any potential threat from China.
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”
A Malaysian student whose cellphone was stolen while he was sleeping has tracked down the culprit: a monkey who took photo and video selfies with the device before abandoning it. Zackrydz Rodzi, 20, on Wednesday said that his mobile phone was missing from his bedroom when he woke up on Saturday. He found the phone’s casing under his bed, but there was no sign of robbery in his house in Johor state. JUNGLE When his father saw a monkey the next day, he searched in the jungle behind his house. Using his brother’s cellphone to call his own device, he found it covered
‘CONFESSED’: A court in Beijing said that former CCP member Ren Zhiqiang abused his power at a state firm and embezzled almost US$7.14 million of public funds A Chinese tycoon who called Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) a clown and criticized his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was yesterday jailed for 18 years for corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds. Ren Zhiqiang (任志強) — once among the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) inner circle — disappeared from the public eye in March, shortly after penning an essay that lambasted Xi’s pandemic response. His outspokenness had earned the former chairman of state-owned property developer Huayuan Group the nickname “Big Cannon.” Yesterday’s verdict said that Ren embezzled almost 50 million yuan (US$7.4 million) of public funds and accepted bribes worth 1.25 million
AUSTRALIAN SITE: China has had a contract with SSC’s Yatharagga station since at least 2011, but the last time it used it was in June 2013. No final date has been given China would lose access to a strategic space tracking station in Western Australia when its contract expires, the facility’s owners said, a decision that cuts into Beijing’s expanding space exploration and navigational capabilities in the Pacific region. The Swedish Space Corp (SSC) has had a contract allowing Beijing access to the satellite antenna at the station since at least 2011. The station is located next to an SSC satellite station primarily used by the US and its agencies, including NASA. The Swedish state-owned company said it would not enter into any new contracts at the Australian site to support Chinese customers after