Asahi ran a telephone interview with Marshall Billingslea, who leads arms control negotiations with Russia as President Trump’s special envoy. He reportedly suggested that the U.S. military will probably deploy medium-range ballistic missiles in Asia within several years, adding that Washington is “ready to discuss with the Japanese government” the idea of basing them in Japan. The U.S. official emphasized the importance of strengthening security partnership with Japan and other U.S. allies in the region in the face of China’s rapid development of various cruise and ballistic missiles, including hypersonic glide vehicles. “We will ensure that the Chinese Communist Party will not be able to use weapons that can be a threat to us,” the diplomat was quoted as saying. “We will coordinate closely with the Japanese government to prevent China’s military buildup from making the Asia region completely unstable.”
According to the daily, Billingslea noted that in addition to Russia, China should be a partner when it comes to regulating nuclear weapons and their delivery systems, indicating that unless Beijing joins a new framework on strategic arms control, the new START Treaty with Moscow may expire in February 2021.