US, Japan to Collaborate on Developing Hypersonic Missile Defenses, Blinken Says

© REUTERS / Kim Kyung-HoonU.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits Japan
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits Japan - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.01.2022
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States and Japan will soon sign an agreement that will enable bilateral cooperation on developing defenses against hypersonic missiles and on new space-based capabilities, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
According to Blinken, in the coming days the United States and Japan will sign a new five-year host nation agreement that will support framework which will invest greater resources to deepen military readiness and interoperability.
"We're launching a new research and development agreement that will make it easier for our scientists, for our engineers and program managers to collaborate on emerging defense related issues from countering hypersonic threats to advancing space-based capabilities," Blinken said during a virtual meeting with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and their Japanese counterparts on Thursday.
Austin in his remarks underscored the significance of the US-Japan alliance to confront challenges from North Korea and China in the Pacific.
Austin, Blinken, US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel are meeting virtually with Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa and Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo to discuss a range of issues that are of mutual concern.
Hayashi said the United States and Japan must be prepared to respond effectively to challenges of the present and future in the region, especially to have a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
Record-setting firing of an electromagnetic railgun (EMRG). (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.01.2022
Japan Reportedly Plans to Bolster Its Defences With Railguns Capable of Downing Hypersonic Missiles
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said earlier in the day that Japan filed a protest against North Korea through diplomatic channels in Beijing over Pyongyang's latest missile launch which it claims was a hypersonic missile.
On Wednesday, the Japanese Coast Guard and the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said they had observed an unknown projectile, presumed to be a ballistic missile, fired by North Korea in the direction of the Sea of Japan. This was the first test of North Korean weapons this year. The last one took place on October 19, 2021, when North Korea tested a new submarine ballistic missile.
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