Japan may put troops near disputed isles

Tokyo is considering placing troops on a remote Japanese island in the East China Sea to monitor China's expanded naval activities that have worried its neighbours, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

The defence ministry wishes to create a "coastal security surveillance team" with the main mission to radar-monitor Chinese naval activities, the Yomiuri Shimbun said, citing ministry sources.

Japanese defence officials are considering placing about 200 troops on Yonaguni, Japan's westernmost island, roughly 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of Taiwan, the Yomiuri said.

The Japanese military regularly sends patrol aircraft to the region but has no permanent monitoring facility there, the Yomiuri said.

A defence ministry official denied the report, saying no such decision has been made.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Whether or not these reports are true, they only serve to ratchet up tensions in the region, rather than calm things down.

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