Disarmament DiplomacyIssue No. 23, February 1998
US-Japan BMD AgreementOn 14 February, it was reported in the Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper that Japan and the United States had agreed to jointly research the development of a lightweight exoatmospheric projectile (LEAP) as part of the two States' growing cooperation on ballistic missile defence (BMD) issues. According to the paper, the LEAP project is expected to commence in Fiscal Year 1999, last for five years, and cost around 20 billion yen per year.
According to the report, the LEAP projectile, if successfully developed and deployed, would be a sea-launched missile designed to intercept and destroy a radar-identified incoming medium- or theatre-range ballistic missile. On 27 February, it was reported that US and Japanese officials met in Hawaii to discuss a range of BMD projects; the 12th in a regular series of meetings devoted to the issue.
Reports: Japan, US to carry out joint research on missile project, Nikkei English News, 14 February; Japan, US agree on ballistic missile defense research, Kyodo, 14 February; Japan, US to hold working-level missile defense talks, Kyodo, 23 February.
© 1998 The Acronym Institute.