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Miyako to host new surveillance station

Date Posted: 2006-10-27

Concerns over China’s increasing military activities is leading to a new electromagnetic waves monitoring station to be built on Miyako Island.

Defense Agency officials say the surveillance facility is essential for tracking radio and radar waves. The Japan Air Self Defense Force has begun construction of the new station, the Land Radio Wave Measurement Facility, to gather information. The site is located in the island’s Ueno area, where officials told residents the monitoring unit will be operational in 2009.

JASDF will move additional defense forces to Miyako Island, where they will both live and work. Some local citizens worry that the military’s power in the southern islands area will become stronger and stronger, but a JASDF official says “all around Japan we need to know what is happening and be ready to catch the information.”

The Japanese defense budget for 2006 identified ¥2,400,000,000 for building new base facilities, barracks and equipment.

There are already similar monitoring facilities, with three on Hokkaido and another in the Kyushu area. Japan operates other stations that monitor radio waves activity from Russia.

The Miyako Islands, located to the southwestern edge of Okinawa Prefecture, is 200 miles southwest from Naha and about 1,100 miles from Tokyo.

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