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Japan Aims To Revamp Rules For Military Cooperation With US

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi propose the revisions to US President George W. Bush. Photo courtesy of AFP.
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) May 08, 2006
Japan aims to revamp plans that spell out how its troops would work with the US military in the wake of a North Korean attack, hostilities in the Taiwan Strait and other emergencies, a report said Friday.

Now that negotiations with Washington on realigning US forces in Japan have wrapped up, Tokyo hopes to have more detailed cooperation plans, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said without citing sources.

The Japanese government is coordinating to have Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi propose the revisions to US President George W. Bush when they hold a summit meeting in late June, the economic daily said.

Japan has legislation on how to cope with armed attacks against itself or emergencies in surrounding areas but lacks details on cooperation with the US military.

Japan was now ready to draw up plans specifying which units would be deployed and goods to be transported, in addition to which roads, ports, airports and medical facilities were to be used, the paper said.

Emergency scenarios would include North Korean attacks on Japan, hostilities on the Korean Peninsula and in the Taiwan Strait, and terrorism and large natural disasters, it said.

Washington and Tokyo heralded a new era in military cooperation this week by adopting a roadmap for restructuring the US military presence in Japan at a cost of tens of billions of dollars.

They endorsed a package to implement an October 2005 accord for the realignment, which involved the relocation of a key US air base and troops from the southern Japanese island of Okinawa by 2014.

In the most sweeping reorganization of US troops and bases in Japan since the US military presence began at the end of World War II, the two nations would also improve their ballistic missile defense capabilities.

Tokyo has been in a hurry to build such a system with Washington since North Korea stunned the world in 1998 by firing a missile over the Japanese mainland into the Pacific.

Source: Agence France-Presse

related report

Japan Plans To Launch 2 Spy Satellites by Staff Writers Tokyo (XNA) May 08 - Japan plans to launch two information-gathering satellites with H-2A rocket in July and early next year respectively to form an always-on space-based surveillance system, local media reported Monday.

The two new spy satellites will join two others already in orbit and will be able to photograph any location in the world at least once every 24 hours, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper said, quoting unnamed government sources.

Since several years ago, Japan has planned to set up a space-based observation system with two optical and two radar-sounding satellites. However, due to a failed deployment of the second pair in 2003, there are only one pair of satellites in orbit at present.

Japan will launch the new pair separately, the report said, with the optical one in July 2006 and the radar-sounding one in January or February 2007. Earlier media reports said that the government has allotted a budget of 61 billion yen (535 million U.S. dollars) for the launch and maintenance of the two new spy satellites.

Japan is also researching next generation satellites to upgrade image resolution, Yomiuri said, with plans to launch upgraded versions of an optical satellite in 2009 and a radar-sounding one in 2011 to replace those in orbit.

Source: Xinhua News Agency

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