Help Against China, Japan Deploys PAC-3 Patriot Missile System to Island Near Taiwan

Help Against China, Japan Deploys PAC-3 Patriot Missile System to Island Near Taiwan
Help Against China, Japan Deploys PAC-3 Patriot Missile System to Island Near Taiwan

Tokyo - The Japanese government announced on Monday that it has deployed a Patriot missile defense system on Miyako Island, a strategically important node in the first island chain close to the island of Taiwan.

The move, according to Chinese military experts, is yet another attempt by Japan to meddle in the Taiwan issue. Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said Monday that the Japan Air Self Defense Force has deployed a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) surface-to-air missile system at the Miyako Island base in Miyakojima, Okinawa Prefecture.

According to him, the weapons were also deployed by the Japan Ground Self Defense Forces on the islands of Ishigaki and Yonaguni. Matsuno said the Patriot missile targeted a potential long-range ballistic missile launch from North Korea.

But Taiwanese media pointed out that the missile system's deployment site was closer to the Chinese-claimed island than to North Korea. China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) frequently sends warplanes and warships to the area between Taiwan island and Yonaguni Island on routine patrols and drills around the island of Taiwan, as well as through the Miyako Strait to the West Pacific for combat drills.

"Japan's Patriot missile deployment on the southwestern islands definitely has nothing to do with the Korean Peninsula, which is far away," Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military expert, told the Global Times. The real goal, Wei said, is to arm the islands with anti-air and anti-ship missiles and prepare for military intervention in the Taiwan issue. "So this is a very provocative move aimed at China," he said. According to Wei, in response, China should further enhance its capabilities in countering potential military intervention attempts by external powers.

The PLA Navy's fleet consisting of a Type 055 large destroyer, two Type 052D destroyers, a Type 054A frigate and a Type 903A comprehensive replenishment vessel sailed from the Sea of Japan through the Soya Strait to the Pacific Ocean from Friday to Saturday. This was stated in a press release by the Joint Staff of the Japanese Ministry of Defense on Monday.

Japan previously expressed support for Manila as the Philippines could begin joint patrols in the South China Sea with the United States and Australia in the third quarter of 2023.

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