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Japan To Deploy Anti-Ship Missiles On Okinawa's Miyako Island

Japan plans to deploy a surface-to-ship missile unit on Miyako Island in the country's southern-most Okinawa prefecture for the first time next month.

Units equipped with Type 88 surface-to-ship missiles will be deployed on Miyako Island and in the southern part of Okinawa's main island as part of an 18-day military drill starting on November 1 with about 34,000 personnel taking part, Japan's Self-Defense Forces (SDF) said on Thursday.

This would put all waters between the islands within range of the guided anti-ship missiles, reports the NHK broadcaster.

Though Chinese naval vessels heading out to the Pacific Ocean often pass between Okinawa and Miyako Island, Japan's Defense Ministry claims that the drill does not hypothesize any particular country as an enemy.

In addition to the missile deployment, a 100-member ground unit together with ships and helicopters will take part in the drill aimed at defending Japan's remote islands.

Relations between Tokyo and Beijing remain strained ever since Japan nationalized the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea over which China has also staked its claims.

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