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US, Japan Strengthen Security Alliance

The United States will station a new missile defense radar in Japan and deploy surveillance drones in the Pacific under a deal reached by top U.S. and Japanese officials

The moves are part of renewed mutual defense guidelines signed Thursday by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel, and their Japanese counterparts in Tokyo.

Under the deal, the U.S. will deploy long-range, Global Hawk reconnaissance drones to help monitor maritime activities in the Pacific, where Japan is involved in a territorial dispute with China.

The U.S. will also place an X-band radar system at Kyogamisaki air base on Japan's West coast over the next year to counter the threat of North Korean missiles.

In addition, the deal formalized a decision to relocate 5,000 U.S. Marines from Okinawa to other areas in the Pacific. It stated that Japan will pay a third of the cost of the relocation effort.

The U.S.-Japan security alliance had not been updated in over 15 years, and leaders from both countries said a revision was needed to deal with the changing nature of threats.

Kerry and Hagel are on a multi-day tour across Asia as part of an effort to advance President Barack Obama's new diplomatic and security focus on the Pacific.



Following the Tokyo meeting, Kerry and Hagel head to the Indonesian island of Bali on Friday for a ministerial meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, which Washington sees as a premier forum for boosting regional trade and investment.

President Obama is also scheduled to attend the APEC meeting, as well as a meeting next week of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

But those plans appeared to be in question, after President Obama on Wednesday cancelled the last two legs of his Asia trip to Malaysia and the Philippines in order to deal with the U.S. federal government shutdown.

A White House statement says Kerry will instead lead the U.S. delegation to each country. It said Mr. Obama reaffirmed the close partnership and alliance the U.S. has with Malaysia and the Philippines and committed to travel to both countries later in his term.

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