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Seems like a bargain to me ...

  U.S. asks Japan to contribute half a billion toward a defense system.

   Recenty, North Korea has lobbed missiles short of and over the island of Japan. Everybody knows the NKs are making nukes. Japan doesn't really have an army per se. It is called the NDF, or national defense force, which is analogous to our National Guard married to the national poice force. Their existence is predicated on the fact that we maintain several huge military bases there.

   Now, considering all that, wouldn't you think that a lousy 545 million bucks would be a cheap price to pay for security? I won't mention that Japan has a huge trade surplus with us totaling in the 10s of billions and it continues to grow annually.

                              But they may not want to pay that ...


   Japan faces 58 bil. yen tab for interceptor

The Yomiuri Shimbun

The United States has asked Japan to contribute 58 billion yen toward a joint missile defense development project expected to begin in fiscal 2006, The Yomiuri Shimbun learned Sunday.

The U.S. government estimates it will spend a total of 545 million dollars (about 58.3 billion yen) on the project by fiscal 2011 and it has requested Japan make an equal contribution.

Japan contributed 26.2 billion yen to joint Japan-U.S. technical research on the missile defense system between 1999 and 2005.

Amid a climate of curbing defense expenditure, the government will seek to negotiate with the United States to avoid a blowout in project costs and have Japan's contribution slashed.

The joint project will see the development of a 53-centimeter-wide interceptor missile that is currently under technical research.

The missile is expected to greatly expand the area defended from that covered by a 34-centimeter-wide interceptor missile planned for deployment on an Aegis destroyer from the end of April 2007.

The new missile is expected to be capable of distinguishing a ballistic missile from a decoy.

Under the development project, the two governments plan to complete system designs for the advanced interceptor missile by the end of fiscal 2006, and commence full-scale development in April 2007.

The Defense Agency is considering allocating several billion yen for the missile defense system in the August budget estimate for fiscal 2006.

In negotiations with Washington, the government will seek details of the estimated development cost and discuss what percentage should be borne by each government and what role each should take in advancing the project.

The government hopes to have a solid estimate of Japan's contribution before budget estimates in August.

Giving consideration to cuts in the defense budget, agency officials are believed to be hoping that Japan's contribution will be reduced to about 40 billion yen.

However, some agency officials did not rule out the possibility that Japan's contribution may be greater than the amount United States is currently asking if the development project runs longer than planned.

The two governments began undertaking technical research in 1999, focusing on:

-- A second-stage rocket motor

-- A kinetic warhead designed to destroy targets by direct impact

-- Infrared sensors to identify and track target missiles

-- A nose cone for the interceptor missile to protect it from air friction

Japan and the United States have shared the cost of research equally.

The Japanese government eased its ban on arms exports in December for the joint missile research program, clearing the way for development and production.

The two governments will conduct a final function test on the missile in March, firing a prototype missile to intercept another missile off Hawaii.



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Easily one of the poorest written articles I've read recently. Some editor must have gone through with his mind on his secretary.

It's a Japanese language paper and I suspect it was translated into English there.

Just got this week's National Review. The cover story is about Japan. I'll be reading that tonight. Damn....the writers for that magazine are so smart. That and the writers at The American Enterprise. Rich Lowry took over for W.F. Buckley, that ass, and he's done a great job. He's on FOX all the time.

Aren't I just rambling along...... d'oh

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