Japan May Send Troops to Disputed Islands

Japans defense minister on Friday warned Tokyo could send troops to a chain of East China Sea islands at the centre of a territorial row with China if the simmering dispute escalated. Satoshi Morimoto said Tokyos position had not changed, but confirmed that it would use force to defend the islands known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese. “Senkaku or not, defense of islands is principally conducted by the coastguard and police,” Morimoto told reporters in Tokyo. “However, the law stipulates that Self-Defense Forces troops can act” if local authorities are unable to handle the situation.

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