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​Japan to establish strategic military outposts near disputed islands - report

Published time: May 20, 2014 01:01
FILE photo. Chinese marine surveillance ship Haijian No. 51 (C) sails near Japan Coast Guard vessels (R and L) and a Japanese fishing boat (front 2nd L) as Uotsuri island, one of the disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China (Reuters / Kyodo)

FILE photo. Chinese marine surveillance ship Haijian No. 51 (C) sails near Japan Coast Guard vessels (R and L) and a Japanese fishing boat (front 2nd L) as Uotsuri island, one of the disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China (Reuters / Kyodo)

Tokyo has reportedly made plans to create new military outposts on remote islands close to disputed territories in an apparent move to bolster Japan’s defense capabilities amid its ongoing territorial rows with China.

Some 350 Ground Self-Defense Forces could be stationed on the three islands near the disputed islands, known as Diaoyu in China and as Senkaku in Japan, Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun cited unnamed senior Japanese Ministry of Defense officials as saying.

The three uninhabited, disputed islets lie some 2,000 km southwest of Tokyo, and around 200 km north of Taiwan.

According to the report, Tokyo will be establishing three bases close to the strategic location – a base on Amami Oshima Island, Miyako Island (210 km southwest of the disputed islands), and Ishigaki Island (about 170 km south), each staffed by up to 150 soldiers.

Last month, Japan announced it was building a high-tech radar outpost on Yonaguni Island, due to become operational in 2016.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said earlier that Japan had already made decisions to develop its military presence in the southwest and that research had been conducted. However, he added that: “At the moment, however, we have not decided on specific, concrete locations, such as those reported.”

The current absence of military troops close to the strategic islands has caused some concern to Japan, which believes it is making itself vulnerable in the face of an increasingly domineering Chinese approach.

While there has not yet been much grist of military confrontation, being largely confined to coastguard squabbles, close watchers have stated that some naval ships have been lurking beyond the horizon and suggest that further confrontation may be on the cards. Additionally, China has increased spending on its military in recent years, allegedly to develop a two-tier blue water navy – one capable of operating across the deep waters of open oceans, implicitly the Pacific.

In its territorial dispute with China, Japan was supported by US President Barack Obama last month.

“The policy of the United States is clear - the Senkaku islands are administered by Japan and therefore fall within the scope of...the US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security,” Obama said during his visit to Japan in April.

Comments (22)

 

Ben King 13.06.2014 22:14

Wulfe N. Straat 20.05.2014 23:24


I suggest that Japan simply return administration of the Senkakus to the US. In addition, the US should/will garrison US marines on the islands,

  

He y bubba Japan bought the Islands from the private owner. Go read the news before you post. Japan never would have lost in the Pacific if not for the U.S. Now with them working together Japan will protect all South Asian countries from Chinese aggression. Controlling the Pacific is the key to crushing Russia and returning the Tsar to the throne. Bye bye socialism / communism.

 

Ben King 13.06.2014 22:10

If you want to make an omelette you have to smash some eggs. International territorial law exists whether or not countries with large armies pay attention to it. These countries will find out that simply occupying a space does not mean that you own it. China has border problems with Taiwan Vietnam India Japan and the Philippines. If China alliances itself with Russia I promise you it will be the end of socialism on this planet. China and Russia are about to find out that when you pick on the little people eventually they all gang up and beat the mud out of you. I look forward to seeing the Emperors returned!

 

Wulfe N. Straat 20.05.2014 23:24

That's provocative. This move by the Japanese simply escalates the situation. You're getting us into war by forward momentum. We won't have it.

I suggest that Japan simply return administration of the Senkakus to the US. In addition, the US should/will garrison US marines on the islands, thus stopping any consideration of an invasion by China, until sovereignty of these islands is adjudicated by an international body. At the very worst, if Japan is not accorded sovereignty, the Senkakus would be assigned to Taiwan, not the PRC.

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