China Opposes Planned Japan - U.s. Military Drills Near Okinawa


China opposes planned Japan-U.S. military drills near OkinawaChina on Thursday said it is "resolutely opposed" to a reported plan by Japan and the United States to hold a joint military exercise near Okinawa Island in November.

"We have always resolutely opposed Japan frequently wooing extraterritorial countries for joint military drills that only increase regional tensions," Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said in a press conference.

Yang's remarks were in response to a question concerning a report from Tokyo that Japan and the United States plan to hold a joint exercise in waters near Okinawa Island next month, after having shelved plans for island recapture drill amid a row between Japan and China over a group of islands in the region.

Reportedly, the original plan was for troops carried by boats and helicopters to land on remote Irisuna Island, roughly 60 kilometers west of Okinawa Island, under a scenario of retaking a territory occupied by foreign forces.

It was widely perceived that Tokyo and Washington had in mind the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands, which are claimed by China.

Japanese government sources said Monday the plan for holding a drill on Irisuna Island was eventually dropped so as not to aggravate ties with China.

They said the currently envisaged simulation drill in waters near Okinawa Island would not involve troops landing on an island.