Japan mulling military equipment near disputed isles

Japan may station military equipment on islands near an archipelago at the centre of a dispute with China. 

Officials said this comes after a number of airborne near-confrontations.

The defence ministry will ask for money in the next fiscal year to study the idea of putting mobile radars and communication systems on islands near the Japan-controlled Senkakus, which Beijing calls the Diaoyus. 

A defence spokesman said the study is part of their plan to operate in southwestern islands with flexibility. 

The maritime dispute, which has simmered for years, heated up last year when the Japanese government nationalised some of the islands, triggering anger and demonstrations in China.