See More on Facebook

Current affairs

Japanese self-defense units deployed for defense of islands in Japan’s southwest

About 380 personnel have been deployed in advance.


Written by

Updated: March 27, 2019

The Ground Self-Defense Force established on Tuesday new bases on Amami-Oshima island in Kagoshima Prefecture and Miyakojima island in Okinawa Prefecture to enhance the defense of the nation’s southwestern Nansei Islands.

On Amami-Oshima island, surface-to-air and surface-to-ship missile units were deployed, with the latter marking their first deployment in the Nansei Islands.

Surface-to-air and surface-to-ship missile units are also scheduled to be deployed next fiscal year to the Miyakojima base, which was inaugurated on the same day.

The GSDF also plans to go ahead with a similar deployment on Ishigakijima island in Okinawa Prefecture.

The new deployment is aimed at putting a check on China, a country that has been making maritime advances in the area.

According to the GSDF, surface-to-ship missile unit personnel have been stationed at the Setouchi base in southern Amami city, and a surface-to-air missile unit personnel have been stationed at the Amami base in northern Amami city. Together with security unit personnel at each location, the new deployment includes a total of 550 troops.

At the Miyakojima base, about 380 personnel of a security unit have been deployed in advance, while personnel of surface-to-air missile and surface-to-ship missile units will be deployed in fiscal 2019, bringing the total number of GSDF troops there to 700 to 800. On Ishigakijima island, the GSDF obtained part of the land for the new base and started building it earlier this month.

In the waters and airspace surrounding the Nansei Islands, China has been conducting its military activities actively in recent years. In July 2013, Chinese military aircraft for the first time passed between the main island of Okinawa and Miyakojima island. In December 2016, China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, also passed the same area. Meanwhile, trespassing by Chinese government ships in waters around the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture have become an almost normal occurrence.

In response to these moves, the Defense Ministry in March 2016 deployed about 160 troops of a coastal patrol unit in the country’s westernmost point, Yonagunijima island in Okinawa Prefecture, moving ahead with reinforcing the defense capability on the Nansei Islands, other than the main island of Okinawa.

The surface-to-ship missiles to be deployed in the three islands of Amami-Oshima, Miyakojima and Ishigakijima are said to have a range of 150 to 200 kilometers. Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said at a press conference on Tuesday that the new deployment will not only fill “vacuum zones” in the defense of the Nansei area, but also enable the SDF to deal swiftly with situations such as natural disasters, thus emphasizing the significance of the deployment.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Japan News
About the Author: The Japan News is published by The Yomiuri Shimbun, which boasts the largest circulation in the world.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Current affairs

Iran says US ‘lying’ on talks

Tehran vows to reduce commitments to 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. The United States enacted a new round of sanctions on Monday, targeting Iran’s supreme leader and some senior officials, further escalating tensions between the two sides. US President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday, saying he is “imposing hard-hitting sanctions on the supreme leader of Iran and the office of the supreme leader of Iran and many others”. Trump accused Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of being ultimately “responsible for the hostile conduct” of the country. In response, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that the fresh sanctions prove that Washington is lying about seeking to hold talks with Teheran. “At the same time as you call for negotiations you seek to sanction the foreign minister? It’s o


By China Daily
June 27, 2019

Current affairs

The transformation of Gokul Baskota

How Nepal’s communications minister went from being a fierce reporter to a hardline politician against free press. For Gokul Baskota, the last twelve months have been particularly busy. Since taking the helm of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, which had been without a leader for several months before his appointment last June, Baskota has eagerly placed himself at the centre of a nonstop media storm, defending every controversial bill the government has tabled or passed—from the Medical Education Bill to the 


By The Kathmandu Post
June 25, 2019

Current affairs

Trump-Xi meeting at G-20 a pivotal factor for North Korean nuclear talks

Talks have stalled since a botched summit in Vietnam. Positive signals sent back and forth between the US and North Korea are feeding hopes for a swift resumption of nuclear negotiations that have been at a standstill since the last summit between the two countries ended without results in late February. Within the past two weeks, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un each disclosed that they had received letters from each other, with both expressing satisfaction and hinting that the letters might be a sign of positive developments in the nuclear talks. On Sunday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington was ready to hold working-level discussions with Pyongyang on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. “We’re ready to go, we’re literally prepared to go at a moment’s notice if the North Koreans indicate that they’re prepared for those discussions,


By The Korea Herald
June 25, 2019

Current affairs

Battle of Okinawa memorial ceremony attended by 5,100

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe offers a flower during a memorial ceremony to commemorate those who died in the Battle of Okinawa. The Okinawa prefectural government held on Sunday a memorial ceremony to commemorate those who died in the Battle of Okinawa, in the Peace Memorial Park in the Mabuni area of Itoman, Okinawa Prefecture. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki participated in the event marking the 74th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Okinawa during the final stage of World War II. Abe and Tamaki each delivered an address to mourn the victims. About 5,100 people, including bereaved family members of the war dead, attended the ceremony, the first of the Reiwa era. In front of the park’s Cornerstone of Peace stone monuments on which the names of the war dead are inscribed, many people joined their hands in prayer. This yea


By The Japan News
June 24, 2019

Current affairs

Seventeen dead in Sihanoukville building collapse

The accident happened over the weekend. Rescue team recovered 17 corpses and at least 24 injured who were buried underneath the rubble of a building under construction which collapsed in Preah Sihanouk province. In an immediate response to the tragedy, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced a donation of 40 million riel to each of the dead victims’ families. Speaking to The Post early on Sunday, Preah Sihanoukville provincial governor Yun Min said: “Up to 8:30am, we have recorded a death toll of 17 persons. “Another 24 have suffered light to serious injuries and are receiving treatment.” The seven-storey building which is under construction collapsed at about 4 am on June 22. Since then, rescue teams have been working round-the-clock in search and recovery operations as they worked against time to save as many of the victim as possible. Families of the victims were


By Phnom Phen Post
June 24, 2019

Current affairs

ASEAN meets in Bangkok but old problems remain

As ASEAN’s leaders attend the bloc’s annual two-day summit in Bangkok, many unasked and unanswered questions remain about the group’s viability going forward. Since its conception 52-years ago, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations has maintained a policy of political non-interference. All statements released together as a group must be unanimously approved less it hinder domestic considerations. During the last 52 years, many countries within the bloc have transitioned from despotic, totalitarian rule to semi-democratic and fully democratic states. Gone are the Marcos, Suhartos and Sarits of yesteryear, replaced by a new guard with clearer mandates and blossoming economies. But as ASEAN members have transitioned and politically matured, so to has the world around the region. Gone are the black and white days of the cold war, replaced by a burgeoning China, a still powerful United States and


By Cod Satrusayang
June 24, 2019