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Japan eyes portable harbors to help defend southwestern islands

Large transport ships could offload supplies where only small ports exist now

The transport ship Kunisaki of Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force. (Photo by Ryo Nemoto)

TOKYO -- Japan plans to develop portable harbors that would let the Self-Defense Forces deploy quickly on the country's islands in the East China Sea.

The Defense Ministry envisions having the temporary harbors ready within a few years to help Japan defend the Nansei Islands if an armed conflict breaks out in Taiwan or elsewhere. The Nansei chain stretches from the southwestern main island of Kyushu to near Taiwan, and many of these isles lack large ports.

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