In April 2022, Japan widened its military capabilities in the southern region of the country in order to counter potential threats from China.

To increase its defensive capabilities in the area, Japan has relocated hundreds of troops, including missile units, to a newly developed base on an isolated island near China and Taiwan.

The Japanese military has then confirmed that up to 570 members of the Ground Self-Defense Force had been deployed to the new garrison located on Ishigaki Island in Okinawa prefecture.

Ishigaki Island, renowned as a destination for travelers and divers because of its warm waters, is situated close enough, only 200 kilometers south, of the Senkaku Islands, an archipelago without inhabitants that is disputed between Japan, China, and Taiwan.

“Here in Ishigaki, we had never seen an SDF member in a camouflage uniform,” said Sachiko Fujii, 75, a local civic group member who joined the protest. “We will never give up until the base is removed.”

The Japanese forces revealed that they had dispatched various units on Thursday, including squads armed with land-to-ship and land-to-air missiles.

Meanwhile, in Okinawa, a band of 150 islands situated off the coast of mainland Japan in the East China Sea, the Japanese government has been increasing the number of military bases constructed.