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International relations

Japan missile plan on Ishigaki island helps boost Taiwan defense

Tokyo fears attack on democratic island could spread to Nansei island chain

A PAC-3 surface-to-air missile defense system is deployed on Ishigaki Island, Okinawa, in preparation a North Korea missile launch.   © Kyodo

TAIPEI -- Japan's plans to ramp up the defense of its remote southwestern islands are being seen as a move to boost support for Taiwan as it faces a heightened Chinese military threat.

The move to station anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles and hundreds of troops on Ishigaki island, 300 kilometers from Taiwan, comes amid a growing Chinese naval presence in the area and tensions between Beijing and Washington over Taiwan and a host of other issues.

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