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Japan to deploy electronic warfare unit on island to monitor Taiwan Strait

New unit will boost Japan's capability to respond to potential cross-strait conflict

Japanese network electronic warfare system vehicle. (Shepard Media photo)

Japanese network electronic warfare system vehicle. (Shepard Media photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Japan’s Ministry of Defense (MOD) plans to deploy an additional electronic warfare unit on Yonaguni Island in Okinawa Prefecture by the end of 2023.

The Okinawa Times reported on Monday (Nov. 8) that the MOD has set aside 3.1 billion yen (NT$760 million) in the 2022 budget for new offices and dormitories on Yonaguni Island following its decision to deploy the unit, which consists of 50-60 troops. Ten personnel from the Ground Self-Defense Force will also be stationed on the island, per the Liberty Times.

This move is meant to strengthen intelligence collection capabilities in the Taiwan Strait and the Diaoyutai Islands, where tensions with China have been growing.

Additionally, the Air Self-Defense Force also plans to deploy a 20-person mobile security team to Yonaguni Island in 2022. The total number of permanently stationed ground and air self-defense personnel on the island will increase from 160 to 250, according to the Liberty Times.

Electronic warfare mainly uses radio and electromagnetic waves to interfere with the enemy's communication equipment and radars as well as to prevent electronic sabotage.

The Okinawa Times pointed out that the new electronic warfare unit will be equipped with a vehicle-mounted network electronic warfare system (NEWS), which can perform functions such as receiving and analyzing electronic waves as well as jamming enemy communications, the Liberty Times said.