It is being seen as counter to military maneuvers of China in South China sea as the US military has decided to conduct its first ever missile drill around the Japanese island of Okinawa this year itself.
It need be mentioned that Washington is quite uneasy with the growing assertiveness of China.
The US military has told its Japanese counterpart it plans to deploy surface-to-ship missiles in the strategically important Okinawa this year.
It is speculated that the drill would involve a mobile rocket launcher seen as a counter-measure to potential attacks from Chinese surface-to-sea ballistic missiles.
In recent years, Chinese warships have frequently sailed through waters near Okinawa, where the majority of US troops in Japan are based.