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JGSDF buildup in southern Okinawa gains momentum

Date Posted: 2010-11-04

Japanís Defense Ministry is moving ahead with plans for deploying Ground Self Defense Forces to the southern reaches of Okinawa Prefecture, eying locating in the southwest archipelago at Miyakojima or Ishigaki Island, with Yonaguni Island looking like the prime candidate for troops to be assigned.

The ruling Democratic Party of Japan has made comments that indicate the Minister of Self Defense wants to immediately shift some 200 troops to Yonaguni. The DPJ and defense ministries have been discussing moving units as large as a squadron to the southern part of the prefecture to enhance protecting the country, particularly in light of the Chinese disputes over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

Decisions are expected by mid-November about what units could possibly be moved, with both the maritime and ground Self Defense Forces clamoring to explain how they can work together. Miyakojima City already has a radar site, but thereís no facility or radar on the islandís west coast.

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