Okinawa Special Police Unit To Deal With Intruders

Okinawa special police unit to deal with intruders

Japan's National Police Agency will deploy its first special unit in Okinawa in fiscal 2020 to deal with intruders on remote islands near the country's borders.

The task force will be set up within the Okinawa prefectural police and is expected to consist of trained officers armed with submachine guns and other defense equipment.

In 2012, members of an activist group in Hong Kong landed on the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. They were later arrested for illegally landing.

Japan controls the islands. The Japanese government maintains the islands are an inherent part of Japan's territory. China and Taiwan claim them.

Chinese government ships have also repeatedly intruded into Japan's territorial waters around the Senkakus.

Japan's Self-Defense Forces and Coast Guard have already increased the number of patrols around the islands.

The National Police Agency is seeking a budget allocation for the next fiscal year to increase the number of officers and deploy new large helicopters within the Okinawa prefectural police.