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Japan to establish island military posts: Report

Published on May 19, 2014 3:43 PM
 
Members of Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force 1st Airborne Brigade take part in an annual new year military exercise at Narashino exercise field in Funabashi, east of Tokyo in this January 12, 2014 file photo. Japan is to establish new military outposts on remote islands, a report said Monday, as Tokyo looks to bolster its defence amid a territorial dispute with China. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO - Japan is to establish new military outposts on remote islands, a report said Monday, 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.

 
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