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Defense Ministry to put more JSDF on Okinawa islands

Date Posted: 2010-11-26

Increasing world tensions are leading Japanís Defense Ministry to consider doubling the number of Self Defense Forces based in Okinawa Prefecture.

The governmentís new National Defense Program Outline calls for deploying as many as 4,000 troops in the Nansei islands, which stretch from southern Kagoshima Prefecture to Okinawa Prefectureís southern tip.

The plan is part of a nation-wide increase of the Ground Self Defense Forces to 157,000 personnel, an increase of 2,000. Naval forces would be upgraded under the plan to offset Chinese actions in southern Okinawa and the disputed Senkaku Islands area.

It may not be as easy as Defense would like; the Finance Ministry is questioning the need for so many people, signifying it thinks provisionally a total of 148,000 troops would be sufficient to protect the nation. The Finance Ministry has also come up with a plan to replace military personnel serving in administrative and personnel positions within the JSDF with civilians who would be paid significantly less.

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