Japan deploys a missile defense unit on an island near Taiwan

The Japanese news agency “Jiji” reported on Tuesday that the defense ministry will deploy a surface-to-air missile defense unit on Yonaguni island in the far west of the country, near Taiwan.

The agency quoted Defense Ministry spokesman Takeshi Aoki as saying that the deployment of the missile defense unit is part of the expansion of a Ground Self-Defense Forces camp on Yonaguni Island, which is part of the prefecture of Okinawa, to strengthen the defense of the southwestern islands.

Earlier this month, Japan unveiled its biggest military buildup since World War II with a $320 billion plan to buy missiles in likely to hit China as regional tensions rise and there are fears that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could turn in a larger war.

And Taiwan’s Defense Ministry announced on Monday that the military maneuvers China conducted at the end of the week near Taiwan included the deployment of 71 aircraft, including dozens of jet fighters, and described these maneuvers as one of the largest military operations so far Beijing raids.

The Chinese military had claimed in a statement that it conducted “combat exercises” on Sunday in response to unspecified “provocations” and “collusions” between the United States and the autonomous island.

And data from Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense showed the recent maneuvers are the largest since the ministry began releasing daily statistics on Chinese incursions.

In a statement on Twitter, Taiwan said 60 fighter jets took part in the maneuvers, including six of the more advanced Su-30s.

As a result, 47 sorties penetrated the island’s air defense identification zone, and this is the third highest recorded daily raid rate, according to the AFP database.

Taiwan lives under the constant threat of being invaded by China, which claims the island as part of its territory and will take it back one day.

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