Japan expands its military footprint for first time in 40 years to counter China

Consortium of Defense Analysts

Yonaguni

Nobuhiro Kubo reports for ReutersApril 19, 2014, that for the first time in more than 40 years, Japan undertook its first military expansion at the western end of its island chain by breaking ground on a military radar station on the Yonaguni island off Taiwan. When constructed, 100 troops will man the radar station. 

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Note: Yonaguni Island, a population around 1700, is one of the Yaeyama Islands and the westernmost inhabited island of Japan. It is the last of the Ryukyu Islands chain, and lies about 67 miles from the east coast of Taiwan, and 93 miles from the disputed Senkaku or Diaoyu islets. (For more, go here.)

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The move risks angering China, locked in a dispute with Japan over the nearby Senkaku or Diaoyu islands which they both claim.

Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, who attended a ceremony on Yonaguni island to…

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