In an unprecedented move, Japan has deployed several surface-to-ship missiles in the Miyako Island in Okinawa Prefecture as part of the ongoing military drills of the Self-Defense Forces. The exercises will be until November 18 and will be participated in by around 30,000 personnel who will be training on how to defend the country from any invading force.
The 20 vehicles with missile launchers arrived from Hokkaido via high-speed ferry at the Hirara Port on Wednesday, with another unit due to arrive at the southern part of Okinawa, this time coming from Aomori Prefecture. These other missiles will be part of an exercise where a destroyer will take on the role of a “hostile” ship. The missiles are projected to fire at a range that can cover the waters between Miyako and the main island of Okinawa, which coincidentally (or probably not?) is the route used by Chinese ships when going to the Pacific Ocean.
But the Defense Ministry is quick to say that the drills are not to target a specific country, even as another drill to defend remote islands will also be held in the waters near Okinawa. It is common knowledge that Japan is involved in several territorial disputes with China and South Korea. There were a few local protestors who attempted to block the arrival of the vehicles with the missiles. They believe that these exercises are useless, dangerous and is not in the best interest of the residents near the area.
[ via RTT News ]