The head of the U.S. Pacific Command made his first visit on Wednesday to a Japanese radar station on the edge of the disputed East China Sea that Japan opened last year to the anger of its regional rival China.

Admiral Harry Harris visited the Yonaguni Coast Observation Unit on the southernmost of the Ryukyu Islands at the invitation of the chief of staff of Japan’s self-defense force, Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano, the U.S. Pacific Command said.

The visit was the first by either official to the camp, Pacific Command said in a statement, which added that in discussions in Tokyo the previous day, the two men stressed the importance of cooperation to address the threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities.

Japan opened the Yonaguni facility last year, giving it a permanent intelligence-gathering post close to Taiwan and a group of islands disputed by Japan and China. The move drew an angry response from Beijing, whose help Washington has been soliciting to help rein in North Korea.


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