Japan is to develop new land-to-sea missiles and deploy them on its remote southern islands, local media say, as tensions with China increase over disputed territories.
Tokyo plans to deploy the missiles on islands such as Miyako in the Okinawa Prefecture, the top-selling Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper said on Sunday without citing sources.
“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 newspaper said.
The Senkaku islands are located in the East China Sea and are disputed by China, which has its own name for them, Diaoyu.
The weapons planned to be developed by Japan, which reportedly will have a range of 300 kilometers (190 miles), will cover the disputed island chain, according to the report.
The paper added that the deployment is expected by 2023.
Japanese officials have recently repeatedly complained of what they refer to as “intrusions” by Chinese ships into the territorial waters of the rocky islands.
China is also involved in territorial disputes with other countries in the South China Sea.
The territorial dispute has at times led to interference by other countries, the US in particular.