Japan is planning to deploy the U S THAAD ballistic missile defense system to block North Korean missiles.
The decision follows the US and China squaring off over deploying of the anti-missile system in South Korea, Bloomberg reported today.
However, there is possibility that the Japan’s adoption of the technology could also trouble China. China has criticized Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s bid to strengthen the role of Japan’s military, and disturbing a nascent recovery in ties between Asia’s two largest economies, Japan's Defense Minister Gen Nakatani said.
Abe told US President Barack Obama last week that he supported US naval patrols to assert free navigation in the South China Sea, where China has built artificial islands as a platform to assert its claims to more than 80 percent of the waters.
The Thaad issue has left South Korean President Park Geun Hye caught between the US, which maintains more than 28,000 troops in the country to defend against North Korea, and China, its biggest trading partner and ally in efforts to resolve historical and territorial disputes with Japan.
North Korea on November 15 declared a no-sail zone off its eastern coast, suggesting the country may be preparing to test-launch a missile in the sea that lies between the Korean peninsula and Japan. The test could involve a new type of proprietary ballistic missile that separates into several “sub-missiles” at high altitude.