With the continuing threat from North Korea and the Chinese pushing out their perimeter of operations, Japan has had little choice than to enhance the capabilities of their forces and push their operational reach out to the Japanese perimeter.
According to a recent story in Japan Times published on March 16, 2919, the Japanese government is focusing on enhanced presence in its outer islands as one means of doing so,
The government is pushing ahead with plans to build new Ground Self-Defense Force bases on remote islands in the southwest in response to military threats from China.
On March 26, GSDF bases are due to be opened in the city of Amami and the town of Setouchi, both on Amami Oshima island in Kagoshima Prefecture. About 560 troops will be stationed at the bases.
Surface-to-air missile systems will be deployed at the Amami base, while land-to-sea missiles and an ammunition depot will be placed at the Setouchi base.
Another GSDF base will be opened on the same day on Miyako Island in Okinawa Prefecture. That base will initially host 380 soldiers, but will eventually expand to host some 700 to 800 troops once surface-to-air and land-to-sea missiles are deployed in fiscal 2019.
In the meantime, work to lay the groundwork for yet another GSDF base has started on Ishigaki Island in Okinawa. The city of Ishigaki includes the Senkaku Islands, which are administered by Japan but also claimed by China, which calls them Diaoyu, and Taiwan, which calls them Tiaoyutai.
The government plans to situate the base in the Hiraeomata area, around the center of Ishigaki Island, and man it with 500 to 600 troops plus a missile unit.
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