Japan to Spend Billions on U.S. Missile-Defense System – By Alastair Gale and Chieko Tsuneoka Aug. 31, 2018 1:31 a.m. ET


POTUS has called for Tokyo buy more American military equipment to reduce its trade surplus with Washington and its dependency on U.S. protection

An advanced Global Hawk surveillance drone displayed at Misawa Air Base in northern Japan.

An advanced Global Hawk surveillance drone displayed at Misawa Air Base in northern Japan. Photo: Eric Talmadge/Associated Press

TOKYO—Japan is set to pay $2.1 billion for a new U.S. missile-defense system, one of its largest military acquisitions, as pressure from President Trump accelerates Tokyo’s spending on American military hardware.

Japan is already among the biggest global buyers of U.S. arms, ranking alongside countries in the Middle East in recent years with purchases of F-35 stealth jet fighters and Global Hawk unmanned surveillance aircraft.

Even so, last year Mr. Trump called for Tokyo buy “massive amounts” of U.S. military equipment to reduce its trade surplus with Washington and its dependency on U.S. protection. Under a security alliance formed after World War II, the U.S. has military bases across Japan. The U.S. Seventh Fleet is permanently stationed near Tokyo.

Support for the alliance is strong in Japan, particularly during periods of tension with North Korea or China.

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