Japan To Beef Up Maritime Defense

Japan will massively reinforce its maritime defense because it feels threatened by China's expanding military power amid a territorial dispute over the Senkaku (or Diaoyu) Islands.

Tokyo is expected to revise its defense white paper for the first time in six years, including deploying troops on Yonaguni Island, close to Taiwan, and lifting a ban on weapons exports, the South China Morning Port reported on Sunday.

The white paper, which is expected to be released next month, will announce a plan to reinforce troops on islands that stretch southwest between the Japanese mainland and Taiwan. It will also include deployment of commando troops on Yonaguni Island, Japan's westernmost island southwest of the Senkaku Islands, and the construction of military facilities on four or five nearby islands, the Hong Kong daily said.

The white paper will pave the way for Japanese munitions manufacturers to participate in joint arms development programs with the U.S., Australian, Indian and Korean firms, and loosen restrictions on weapons exports.

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