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SHOWDOWN: Japan plans missile to test Chinese strategy in East China Sea

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Japan is planning to develop a new tactical ballistic missile that would reset Chinese military strategy around disputed islands in the East China Sea.

Plans for the surface-to-ship weapon, which would be the longest-range missile ever built by Japan, have emerged after prolonged months of rancour between Tokyo and Beijing over rival territorial claims.

As tensions have persisted, Japan revealed last month that it scrambledfighter jets a record 199 times in the second quarter as Chinese military activities intensified around Japan’s territorial waters and drew closer to the uninhabited Senkaku islands — a chain known as the Diaoyu in China.

The new missile, say military experts familiar with the plans, is designed to “complicate enemy planning”. By positioning them on Japanese islands in the East China Sea and with a range that stretches to the edge of Japan’s territorial claims, the missiles would discourage naval aggression. If an attacking force were planning a landing on a Japanese island, its commander would need to destroy the missiles beforehand — in effect initiating conflict. – READ MORE

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