Monday, July 6, 2009

Improving Defense in Japan's southwest

This is still a matter under consideration, but since the Bouei Daijin (Defense Minister) was willing to speak of this at a news conference, here is the story:

Currently, the westernmost of the islands of Okinawa Prefecture are patrolled but not garrisoned. The basing of elements of the Rikujou Jieitai (Ground Self-Defense Force; Land Army) at Yonaguni-jima would provide a facility for defense and disaster response in the region and would be a major improvement to force capabilities there.

The small Okinawa Prefecture island is part of the Ryukyu Islands in the East China Sea and located just 110 kilometers from Taiwan's eastern coast.

It is also roughly 150 km south of a set of Japanese-administered islets whose ownership is disputed by China, Japan and Taiwan. Japan considers the islands -- called the Senkaku in Japan, Diaoyutai in China and Tiaoyutai in Taiwan -- part of the Ryukyu Islands.
This may take some explaining to the neighbors. Hope they are willing to listen to reason.

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