The move comes in the wake of North Korea show casing its ICBM capabilities.
In a move that is likely to needle China, the head of the U.S. Pacific Command has visited a Japanese radar station on the edge of the disputed East China Sea, that Japan opened last year much to the anger of China, a regional rival.
The visit was on the invitation of chief of staff of Japan’s self-defense force, Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano, said the U.S. Pacific Command.
Its statement also included the fact that the visit was the first by either officials and comes in the wake of the countries stressing the importance of regional cooperation to address the growing threat posed by North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear capabilities.
Last year, Japan opened the Yonaguni facility in the strategically located island known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and the Diaoyu in China, providing it a permanent intelligence-gathering post located close to Taiwan as well as a group of islands claimed by Japan and China. The move had drawn an angry response from Beijing.
Currently, the U.S. is counting on China to rein in North Korea’s jingoism.
Of late, Beijing has been flexing its muscles and has been asserting itself while claiming territory. This has raised concern among its neighbours.
Just as China has militarised its island in the South China Sea, Japan has followed suit too.
Japanese policymakers have said militarising the island is part of a broader strategy to keep Chinese misadventures at bay in the Western Pacific.
Last month, with the US deploying THAAD anti-missile system, in South Korea in the wake of missile launches by North Korea, Beijing had felt threatened saying the move damaged its national security.
In the age of satellites, China has claimed that the deployment of radar as part of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system enables the U.S to see into its territory.
The United States said, the deployment of THAAD in South Korea, is purely for defending the country against North Korea.