Japan plans ‘to set up military bases near Diaoyus’ amid row with China

Tuesday, May 20, 2014
By Paul Martin

Up to 350 troops to be stationed on three islands close to the Senkakus, according to a report

SCMP.com
Monday, 19 May, 2014

Japan is to establish new military outposts on remote islands, a report said today, as Tokyo looks to bolster its defence amid a territorial dispute with China.

Up to 350 troops each could be stationed on three islands in the far southwest, close to the Senkakus, which Beijing claims as its own under the name Diaoyus, the mass-selling Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

With the exception of the main Okinawa island, Japan’s Ground Self-Defence Forces, its army, have no bases on the chain of islands that runs from the bottom of Kyushu to Taiwan. There are limited air force facilities in the area.

The lack of substantial military presence is a source of worry for some in Japan, who caution that it leaves Japan vulnerable to China’s increasingly assertive stance.

Chinese ships have repeatedly moved into the Senkakus’ territorial waters, since Tokyo nationalised some of them in September 2012, to confront Japanese vessels.

The islands lie around 2,000 kilometres southwest of Tokyo and around 200 kilometres from the north of Taiwan.

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