The United States will establish a rapid response unit of the Marine Corps on the Japanese island of Okinawa to protect the remote islands in southwestern Japan, writes Kyodo.
According to Japanese media sources, the Coastal Marine Regiment will be established within several years as part of the reorganization of the Marine Corps in the island prefecture amid China's increased military activities in the East China Sea.
China has been increasing its military activity in the South China and East China Seas, and its coast guard ships have repeatedly entered Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands, a group of uninhabited islets controlled by Tokyo that are claimed by China.
The new unit in Okinawa is expected to be able to counter the potential advances of the Chinese military.
The plan is expected to be presented at a two-plus-two security meeting between the foreign and defense ministers of Japan and the United States on January 11 in Washington.
However, plans to create a new unit in Okinawa may cause a negative reaction from local residents, as most of the island is already used to house the US military.
At the same time, it is reported that the Japanese authorities have previously pledged to strengthen self-defense forces in Okinawa to protect the remote southwestern islands, calling China "the biggest strategic challenge."