TOKYO, Jan 3 — The US military will this year conduct its first ever missile drill around the Japanese island of Okinawa, according to a report today, as Washington seeks to counter an increasingly assertive China.
The drill would involve a mobile rocket launcher seen as a counter-measure to potential attacks from Chinese surface-to-sea ballistic missiles, the paper said.
In recent years, Chinese warships have frequently sailed through waters near Okinawa, where the majority of US troops in Japan are based.
Some analysts believe Beijing seeks to end US military dominance in the western Pacific by exerting control of the second island chain that links Japan’s southern Ogasawara island chain, the US territory of Guam, and Indonesia.
Beijing insists the activities are for self-defence.
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