Japan plans to develop missile to counter China
JAPAN will develop a new land-to-sea missile as part of plans to beef up its defence of remote southern islands, as tensions with China increase over the disputed territory, a report said yesterday.
The two countries are locked in a long-running dispute over the uninhabited islets known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.
The report comes after repeated protests by Japanese foreign ministry officials over what Tokyo calls “intrusions” by Chinese ships in the territorial and contiguous waters of the rocky islands.
Tokyo plans to deploy the weapon, which reportedly will have a range of 300 kilometres (186 miles), on islands such as Miyako in Okinawa prefecture, the top-selling Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper said.
The range will cover the disputed island chain, the paper said, adding that the deployment is expected by 2023.
“In light of China’s repeated acts of provocation around the Senkaku islands, Japan aims to increase deterrence with improved long-range strike capability.”
The missile will be developed by Japan and will use solid fuel, the Yomiuri said, referring to the technology that allows for weapon’s long-term storage.
Japan also protested in June after it said a Chinese navy frigate sailed close to waters near the islands for the first time. –