The islands, also claimed by Taiwan, stir a depth of nationalist passion that belies their size and remoteness. They are located roughly midway between Taiwan and the southern Japanese island of Okinawa and cover a total area of just 2.3 square miles.
A senior U.S. official said the new radar, which was initially announced by then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta about a year ago, will provide better coverage in the event of a North Korean attack. One of the X-band radar systems is already positioned in northern Japan, but the official said the second one, to be located in the Kyoto Prefecture, will fill gaps in coverage.
The official said details about the deployment of the U.S. Global Hawk drones were still being worked out. The plans also included deployment of F-35 jet fighters for the Marines around 2017. And for the first time, the U.S. will deploy Navy P-8 anti-submarine aircraft outside the U.S., sending them to Japan later this year.
More broadly, the 10-page statement signed by Kerry and Hagel was designed to improve military and diplomatic relations with Japan while working to reduce America's troop footprint on the island.
The U.S. force of 50,000, particularly troops in Okinawa, has increased tensions between the two nations over the military's land use, crimes committed by service members and disruptions by military flights in the heavily populated region. Under plans announced last year, about 9,000 Marines stationed on Okinawa will be moved out, with 5,000 going to Guam.
Associated Press writer Didi Tang in Beijing contributed to this report.
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