TOKYO (Reuters) – Washington has suggested deploying medium-range missiles in Japan as part of a plan to bolster defences against China along the East and South China Seas, the Sankei newspaper reported on Saturday citing unidentified people involved with U.S.-Japan relations.
The deployment to U.S. forces in Japan may include long-range hypersonic weapons and Tomahawks, the newspaper reported, adding without citing sources that Tokyo is poised to start serious discussion toward accepting the deployment.
Though the location is undecided, the Sankei said Japan was considering the southern island of Kyushu as a possibility. It was not clear from the report whether the Sankei was citing one or multiple sources.
Japan and the United States want to reinforce islands separating the East China Sea from the Western Pacific because they are close to Taiwan – a democratically governed island which China claims as its own territory – and form part of what military planners refer to as the ‘First Island Chain’ extending down to Indonesia that hems in China’s forces.
(Reporting by Sakura Murakami; Editing by Christopher Cushing)