US deploys first advanced drones to Japan

Fleet of Global Hawk aircraft arrive in Japan, as Washington seeks to improve surveillance in Asia. 

Last updated: 31 May 2014 12:24
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The unarmed Global Hawk aircraft were deployed to Japan over the past week [AP\Kyodo news]

The US air force has deployed two of its most advanced long-distance surveillance drones to a base in northern Japan.

According to the AP news agency, the unarmed Global Hawk aircraft were deployed to Japan over the past week from their home base on the Pacific island of Guam.

They are expected to enhance the US military's ability to monitor nuclear activities in North Korea and Chinese naval operations, and to assess natural disasters to assist humanitarian aid operations.

The deployment to Japan, a key US ally, is intended to further demonstrate Washington's commitment to security in Asia as part of its rebalancing of forces to the Pacific.

China and North Korea have been working to improve their own unmanned aircraft fleets.

The Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, will outline his vision for Japan's defence contribution to regional security to promote peace and prosperity on Saturday.

Abe will make a speech at the Asia Security Summit in Singapore, known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, becoming the first Japanese leader to do so at the gathering.

On Thursday, the US warned China against risking tensions in international airspace after Tokyo accused Beijing of "dangerous manoeuvres" above disputed area.


Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.