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JGSDF sending 450 to Ishigaki

Date Posted: 2012-04-06

The Japanese Defense Ministry is pulling out all the stops to protect Okinawa should a North Korean rocket cross over Japan during an anticipated launch sometime between April 12th ~ 16th.

A total of 450 Japan Ground Self Defense Forces are now being deployed to Ishigaki Island, together with 140 vehicles. The SDF troops will be bivouacked on reclaimed land near Ishigaki Port, authorities say, since the JSDF has no facilities on the island.

Another 200 JGSDF personnel are en route to Miyako Island in conjunction with deployment of ground-based Patriot Advanced Capability-3 interceptors. The Defense Ministry says that although the likelihood of either the North Korean rocket or its debris falling on Japanese territory is slim, it’s taking precautionary measures. North Korea says it will launch rocket to put a satellite into orbit to study natural resources, but western analysts believe it’s a cover for a long-range ballistic missile test.

The Defense Ministry says another 100 personnel are deployed at both its Air Self Defense Force Naha base, and also at the Chinen submarine base in Nanjo, on the east coast of Okinawa’s main island. No PAC-3 interceptors will be deployed to Yonaguni Island, but 50 troops from the GSDF, will be available to respond to contingencies during the launch window.

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