November 11, 2010
Japan to send troops to remote isle over China fears: media
Tokyo will send around 100 soldiers to a remote Japanese island in the East
China Sea, a report said Thursday, amid growing anxiety over China's naval
The ground troops will be deployed on Yonaguni island, Japan's westernmost
point, to carry out coastal patrols and surveillance of Chinese naval vessels,
Jiji news agency quoted defence officials as saying.
Tokyo eventually plans to double the number of troops stationed on Yonaguni,
which is roughly 100 kilometres (60 miles) east of Taiwan, the report said.
Defence Minister Toshimi Kitazawa Thursday stressed the importance of boosting
defence in island areas, including Yonaguni, to a security committee meeting at
the House of Representatives, Jiji reported.
The defence ministry has applied for 30 million yen (365,000 dollars) from next
year's budget for "preparatory research" on the issue, it said.
The Japanese military regularly sends patrol aircraft to the region but has no
permanent monitoring facility on Yonaguni, a remote but populated rocky outcrop.
Increased Chinese naval activity has sparked a defence rethink in which Japan
has mulled sending more forces to its scattered southern islands and away from
Cold War-era bases in the north near Russia.
In an incident in April this year, a large Chinese flotilla approached a group
of disputed islands in the East China Sea and sent out a helicopter that buzzed
Japanese navy ships monitoring their movement.
The area is a frequent flashpoint for troubles between Japan and China.
Ties have been badly strained since Japan arrested a Chinese trawler captain
near the disputed island chain in September, sparking a barrage of protests from
* In reference, you may also see:
Chinese Missiles Could Close U.S. Bases in Attack, Report Says
By Tony Capaccio - Nov 12, 2010
(* Informed at Defense News Letter)