Tokyo has doubled the number of planes located at an Okinawan base, a move designed to protect the East China Sea from Chinese aggression. The Diplomat:
For the first time in about 50 years, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) has stood up a new air wing consisting of Mitsubishi F-15J all-weather air superiority fighters at Naha Air Base, located in the capital city of Okinawa, Japan’s most southern prefecture, according to local media reports.The stationing of additional fighter jets is part of Tokyo’s efforts to enhance the defenses of the Ryukyu Islands chain (known in Japanese as the Nansei islands), which stretches southwest from Kyushu to Taiwan. The push comes amidst China’s growing assertiveness and military presence in the East China Sea . . .
Japanese PM Shinzo Abe has not shied away from confronting China in the East China Sea. Last month, Tokyo announced it would send patrols to meet any Chinese ship that sailed too close to the Senkakus. But then Beijing began sending larger ships past those same islands, which China calls the Diaoyus. Moving fighter jets to Okinawa appears to be just the latest salvo in this rapidly escalating dispute.