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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 February 10 - 16  > DoD Missile Defense Agency pressured Japan into adopting Lockheed-made radars
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2021 February 10 - 16 TOP3 [POLITICS]

DoD Missile Defense Agency pressured Japan into adopting Lockheed-made radars

February 10, 2021
It has come to light that the Missile Defense Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense had pressured Japan's Defense Ministry into adopting radars manufactured by U.S. leading arms company Lockheed Martin.

Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Kokuta Keiji at a Lower House Budget Committee meeting on February 9 revealed testimony Akahata obtained from sources close to the ministry.

Defense Minister Kishida Nobuo admitted that Director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency Samuel Greaves visited Japan and had contact with Japan's Defense Ministry before the ministry decided on the selection of radars to be carried by "Aegis system-equipped vessels" as an alternative to ground-based anti-ballistic missile "Aegis Ashore" systems.

The Defense Ministry in June 2018 accepted the proposal of "SPY-7" radars from the U.S. agency and Lockheed. The ministry on July 30 of the same year selected SPY-7. However, a SPY-7 protype was not ready at that time, causing controversy over why such a selection was made.

Kokuta said that a former defense ministry official testified in an Akahata interview that "before the selection of radars, the director of the U.S. Missile Agency visited Japan's Defense Ministry and put pressure on Japan to choose Lockheed-made products. The Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister of Defense at that time also understood that to be the case".

DM Kishida in response admitted, "It is true that on July 23, 2018, the agency's director, Greaves, met with Nishida Yasunori, then chief of the Defense Buildup Planning Bureau, in Tokyo." Kishida, however, denied any pressure brought to bear by the U.S. side.

Kokuta showed "a list of contact reports" of the ministry and asked Kishida how many times relevant bureau officials met "arms industry representatives" between February 2018 when the selection process started and the end of July the same year. DM Kishida answered, "529 times." The names of companies and concerned individuals on the list are all blacked out, but almost all are thought to be Lockheed representatives and representatives of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.

Kokuta said that the ministry should make public all the facts about the contact list, demanding the cancellation of the plan to introduce Aegis system-equipped vessels.
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