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Tuesday, 23rd November 2010
In General Japan News,

Japan considers increasing troops

Japan may double its military presence on the Nansei Islands as part of an ongoing dispute with China.

According to the country's defence ministry, it could increase troop numbers to 4,000 in an end-of-year review.

The Nansei Islands are located in a stretch of water from Kagoshima Prefecture to Taiwan and have been the main focus of a territorial dispute between Japan and China in recent months.

Under the new National Defence Programme Outline, the Ground Self-Defence Force would be increased to 157,000 up from its current level of 155,000 but below initial predictions of 168,000.

The Nikkei reports that troops will be stationed on the islands to monitor the activity of Chinese fishing boats, planes and other vessels.

AFP recently reported the sighting of two Chinese ships close to a chain of disputed islands, known as the Diaoyus in China and Senkakus in Japan.

Written by Susan Ballion.