Japan To Beef Up Maritime Defense

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

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

The white paper, which is expected to be released nextmonth, will announce a plan to reinforce troops on islands that stretchsouthwest between the Japanese mainland and Taiwan. It will alsoinclude deployment of commando troops on Yonaguni Island, Japan'swesternmost island southwest of the Senkaku Islands, and theconstruction of military facilities on four or five nearby islands, theHong Kong daily said.

The white paper will pave the way forJapanese munitions manufacturers to participate in joint armsdevelopment programs with the U.S., Australian, Indian and Koreanfirms, and loosen restrictions on weapons exports.

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