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

No to terrorism, communalism

Still smarting from brutal murder of Abrar, Buet students vow to resist repeat of such incidents.  With the murder of Abrar Fahad fresh in everyone’s minds, protesting students of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology yesterday took an oath to resist terrorism and communal forces on the campus. “We will collectively prevent the rise of all sorts of terrorist activities and evil communal forces on the campus. Imbued with morality, we will uproot all the discriminatory cultures and abuses of power,” the students said in unison. “Together we will make sure that no innocent life falls apart and the innocent do not fall victim to torture on this university ground.” Several hundred students took the oath in presence of Buet vice-chancellor Prof Saiful Islam, deans of different faculties and provosts of the halls. The programme was


By Daily Star
October 17, 2019

Current affairs

We will never abandon people of occupied Kashmir, says Army chief during LoC visit

The army chief said that the Pakistan army will fulfil its role no matter the cost. Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa while visiting troops stationed along the Line of Control (LoC) on Wednesday vowed “to never leave Kashmiris alone” in their fight against Indian oppression. “Kashmiris in IOJ&K are bravely facing Indian atrocities under continued siege. We shall never leave them alone and play our rightful role at whatever cost”, said Gen Bajwa. Gen Bajwa’s remarks followed a briefing of the “deliberate targeting of civilians” by Indian troops and the response by Pakistan’s armed forces. A day earlier, at least three civilians died and eight others were injured in Azad Jammu and Kashmir after Indian troops resorted to “indiscri


By Dawn
October 17, 2019

Current affairs

Typhoon death toll rises to 75; 16 missing

Most of the casualties occurred in Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures. Search and rescue operations are continuing in eastern Japan after record downpours in the wake of Typhoon No. 19 caused widespread devastation in the region. According to data collected by The Yomiuri Shimbun, as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, the disaster had claimed the lives of 75 people in 12 prefectures and 16 people were missing. The Tohoku region has seen extensive casualties with more than half of the victims killed in Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures. In Marumori, Miyagi Prefecture, floodwater in the central part of the town has started to recede but some areas are still underwater. The full scale of the damage is yet to be established. In areas where embankments had been breached, search and rescue operations are continuing round the clock, as the survival rate of trapped victims is said to


By The Japan News
October 16, 2019

Current affairs

Thai labourers face uncertainty over cost of production

The trade war has not left Thailand unaffected. The slowdown in global economy has dampened growth of the support industries in Thailand in its role as a part-producer for foreign investors, with all finished items shipped out to target countries or the parent companies. When investing companies add value to their products and sold at higher prices, Thai producers receive less profits, resulting in low wages for labourers. Production of industrial parts could be easily relocated to other countires, said Chalee Loysong, president of the Confederation of Electronic, Electrical Appliances, Auto and Metal Workers (TEAM). A clear sign of the move emerged when companies started to reduce costs through cutting down on the numbers of both full-time workers and those engaged in outsourced work, he said, adding that the latter are especially prompt to being discarded, given the absen


By The Nation (Thailand)
October 16, 2019

Current affairs

Typhoon Hagibis kills over 50, many still missing

Japan has deployed at least 100,000 security personnel in search and rescue operations. Powerful Typhoon No. 19 devastated parts of eastern Japan as it plowed across the Tokai, Kanto and Tohoku regions and passed over the Pacific Ocean on early Sunday morning. According to a Yomiuri Shimbun tally, as of 3 p.m. on Monday, the typhoon had claimed the lives of 52 people in 11 prefectures, with 168 people injured. Sixteen people are missing. The typhoon caused the Chikuma River in Nagano Prefecture and the Abukuma River in Fukushima Prefecture to burst their banks, flooding many houses in low-lying areas. The Geospatial Information Authority of Japan has released a map of affected areas, indicating the depth of flooding around rivers. Flooding is believed to have reached a maximum depth of about 4.3 meters near the Chikuma River and 5.2 meters near the Abukuma


By The Japan News
October 15, 2019

Current affairs

Thousands of pro-democracy protesters throng Hong Kong’s Chater Garden

The protests have escalated in violence and crackdowns in recent months. Tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters gathered at Hong Kong’s Chater Garden in Central district near government headquarters on Monday evening (Oct 14) for the first approved rally since a face mask ban came into effect on Oct 5. The rally, which came a day after an improvised explosive device was detonated during unrest,  was called in support of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, a proposed US legislation aimed at reviewing the territory’s special trading status and potentially sanctioning some Chinese officials. Protesters urged


By The Straits Times
October 15, 2019