U.S. Spy Drones Eyed for Deployment to Southwestern Japan
Kanoya, Kagoshima Pref., Jan. 27 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese and U.S. governments are considering deploying temporarily the U.S. military's MQ-9 unmanned reconnaissance aircraft to a Maritime Self-Defense Force base in Kanoya in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan, it was learned Thursday.
The envisaged deployment is designed to strengthen surveillance of China, which is stepping up its military activities mainly around the Nansei island chain in southwestern Japan, sources familiar with the matter said.
Senior officials of the Japanese Defense Ministry's Kyushu Defense Bureau visited Kanoya on Thursday and explained the plan to city government officials.
If the plan is realized, it will be the first deployment of U.S. military unmanned aircraft to an SDF base.
After explaining the plan to the city, Atsushi Endo, head of the planning department of the defense bureau, told reporters that the MSDF's Kanoya base has easy access to the Nansei area, where China is beefing up its activities.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]