Friday, July 03, 2009

"Yonaguni": Japanese troops pondering over East China Sea

According to the Tokyo Shimbun, a well informed newspaper, Japan's defense ministry is studying deploying troops on an island in the East China Sea near a group of islets that is claimed by Tokyo, Beijing and Taipei: "it could be included in the planned year-end revision of the basic defense program".

Objective: to send an army unit to Yonaguni island. Yonaguni is located 120 kilometers east of Taiwan and 170 kilometers south of uninhabited islands known as the Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese.

The MOD said the location of military deployments along a chain of islands between the southern tip of Japan's Kyushu island and Taiwan is "an important factor in the nation's defense deployment."

For the Tokyo Shimbun this strategy is part of Japan's shift of its defense focus from its northern borders during the Cold War era to the country's southwestern borders facing China.

✍ Yonaguni is Japan's southern island
JP: with an underwater ruins formation some say thousands of years old which attract a lot of divers; it looks like ancient building or pyramid with undersea terraces less than 40 meters deep. A local diver first noticed the Yonaguni formations in 1986. Spectacular pictures and story here

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