Japan Sends Troops to Island, Risking China Tensions

Yonagumi Is Just Off the Coast of Taiwan

by Jason Ditz, April 18, 2014

If you don’t think of Japan as a tropical place with rain forests, you’ve never been to the island of Yonagumi. Even in Japan, few have, as the island is only about 1,500 people and two police officers.

And soon, it is home to about 100 Japanese troops, as the government announced a plan to deploy the troops to the island, one of the more remote Japanese islands. They are also adding a radar station with range into the disputed Senkaku islands.

The island’s ownership isn’t under serious dispute, like the Senkaku island chain closer to China, but Japan’s move to shore up its control with military force risks encouraging tit-for-tat reactions by China on some other disputed territory.

It is also seen by some as an attempt to create a “warning station” along the East China Sea. The inclusion of the troops also doesn’t make much sense otherwise, as Yonaguni is peaceful and comparatively remote.

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