Japan to build military station on remote western island, closer to China than Japan’s main islands


Japan is sending 100 soldiers and radar to its westernmost outpost, a tropical island off Taiwan, in a deployment that risks angering China with ties between Asia’s biggest economies already hurt by a dispute over nearby islands they both claim.

Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera will break ground on Saturday for a military lookout station on Yonaguni, which is home to 1,500 people and just 150 km (93 miles) from the disputed Japanese-held islands claimed by China.

The mini-militarisation of Yonaguni – now defended by two police officers – is part of a longstanding plan to improve defence and surveillance in Japan’s far-flung frontier.

Building the radar base on the island, which is much closer to China than to Japan’s main islands, could extend Japanese monitoring to the Chinese mainland and track Chinese ships and aircraft circling the disputed crags, called the Senkaku by Japan and the Diaoyu by China.

Read more: http://chinadailymail.com/2014/04/21/japan-to-build-military-station-on-remote-western-island-closer-to-china-than-japans-main-islands/