US Army reportedly planning to send signal to China with first missile test in Okinawa

The U.S. military reportedly is set to conduct its first missile test around the Japanese island of Okinawa later this year amid increasing Chinese aggression in the South China Sea.

It is not clear when the test will occur, but Stars and Stripes, citing Japan’s Sankei newspaper, said it will feature the Army’s High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System and Army Tactical Missile Systems, the latter of which is capable of striking targets within a 186-mile radius.

Officials in Japan’s Ministry of Defense, without confirming that the test would happen, added that it would be the first of its kind in or around the region.

The U.S. Army did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment on the matter.

VIDEO: SOUTH CHINA SEA CONFLICT EXPLAINED

The news of the possible test comes amid increasing Chinese involvement in the South China Sea, and any drill would be seen as a deterrent against that country’s armed forces, the Sankei newspaper is reported as saying.

China in recent years has built man-made islands in the South China Sea and has engaged in disputes with Japan over control of territory in the region.