As China flexes its muscles, East Asian neighbours ramp up defences

In March, Japan opened a new army camp on the tropical resort island of Ishigaki – about 330km east of Taiwan – staffed with 570 soldiers and stocked with an arsenal of anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles.

The new garrison, which defence officials describe as the “crucial final component of Japan’s front-line security”, follows other Ground Self-Defence Force camps that have opened since 2016 on the south-western Japan islands of Yonaguni, Miyako and Amami Oshima.

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