Japan Establishes Garrison on Ishigaki Island, Okinawa Prefecture

On Thursday, Japan’s Defense Ministry confirmed that up to 570 Ground Self-Defense Force members will be stationed at the recently established garrison on Ishigaki island in Okinawa prefecture.[0] Of these, some personnel will be assigned to land-to-ship and land-to-air missile units.[1]

The islands of Okinawa form a band stretching from Kyushu, Japan’s southernmost main island, to Taiwan in the East China Sea.[2] Ishigaki is located 200 kilometres south of the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands, an uninhabited island chain also claimed by China and Taiwan.[3] This area has become one of the key points of focus for increasing tensions in the region.[3]

The personnel will be armed with Type-12 surface-to-ship guided missiles and Type-03 surface-to-air guided missiles, which will be stored in ammunition facilities on the base.[4]

Japan has been ramping up the construction of military bases in Okinawa, in order to address security concerns.[3] This latest garrison is part of a larger effort to defend Japanese territory and protect its citizens.

0. “Japan moves missile capable troops into remote island base as regional tensions rise” News8000.com – WKBT, 17 Mar. 2023, https://www.news8000.com/news/national-world/japan-moves-missile-capable-troops-into-remote-island-base-as-regional-tensions-rise/article_ce4ad6e6-3bf0-5af2-8d69-f0a6fc1f1aae.html

1. “Japan sends missile units to southwestern island to face China threat” Kyodo News Plus, 16 Mar. 2023, https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2023/03/438da74ba751-japan-sends-missile-units-to-southwestern-island-to-face-china-threat.html

2. “Bomb shelters on Japan's southern islands make sense, experts say, in case China attacks” Stars and Stripes, 10 Mar. 2023, https://www.stripes.com/theaters/asia_pacific/2023-03-09/okinawa-bomb-shelters-china-conflict-9444532.html

3. “World News | Amid Security Concerns, Japan Deploys Troops on Remote Islands Near China, Taiwan” LatestLY, 18 Mar. 2023, https://www.latestly.com/agency-news/world-news-amid-security-concerns-japan-deploys-troops-on-remote-islands-near-china-taiwan-4962489.html

4. “Ammunition Brought into New GSDF Camp on Ishigaki Island” Nippon.com, 18 Mar. 2023, https://www.nippon.com/en/news/yjj2023031800262/ammunition-brought-into-new-gsdf-camp-on-ishigaki-island.html

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