MOSCOW, January 11 – RIA Novosti. The US plans to significantly increase the number of anti-ship missiles available to US forces in Japan, Reuters reported, citing three US officials.
“The United States will significantly increase its anti-ship missile capabilities in Japan as part of a broader effort to contain China,” the agency said in a statement. It is noted that the total number of US troops in Japan will not change.
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As reported, the agreement between Japan and the United States will be announced on Wednesday after a meeting in Washington, Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken with their Japanese counterparts.
According to agency sources, the anti-ship missiles will be delivered to Japan as part of a reorganized 2,000-strong Marine Regiment that will deal with reconnaissance and transportation. The transfer is expected to be completed by 2025.
US officials added that by the spring of 2023, a separate US Army company – about 300 troops and 13 ships – will be deployed to assist in the transfer of US and Japanese military and equipment.
Earlier, the Financial Times newspaper, citing Lieutenant General James Bierman, commander of the 3rd US Marine Expeditionary Force (deployed in Japan), reported that the US and Japanese armed forces are increasing cooperation amid a possible conflict with China over Taiwan.
The situation around Taiwan escalated significantly in early August last year after a visit to the island at that time by the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. China, which considers the island one of its provinces, condemned Pelosi’s visit, seeing in this move US support for Taiwanese separatism, and held large-scale military exercises.
Official relations between the central government of the PRC and its island province were interrupted in 1949 after the Kuomintang forces led by Chiang Kai-shek, defeated in a civil war with the Communist Party of China, moved to Taiwan. Business and informal contacts between the island and mainland China resumed in the late 1980s. Since the early 1990s, the parties began to contact through non-governmental organizations – the Beijing Association for the Development of Relations across the Taiwan Strait and the Taipei Foundation for Cross-Strait Exchanges.
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Translation by RJ983
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