From NHK, we have news that the Ministry of Defense is making a request for funds to allow it to purchase a site on Yonaguni Island for the new Ground Self-Defense Force Coast Monitoring Unit:

(Rough translation provided for your convenience)

MoD Requests Funds for Yonaguni Island Site

Shaded area shows rough location of SDF site on Yonaguni Island, Okinawa

Shaded area shows rough location of SDF site on Yonaguni Island, Okinawa (Source: Jiji, via Senkaku Defense Commission)

The Ministry of Defense has made a request for budgetary appropriations from next year’s draft budget. Excluding post-disaster restoration and reconstruction, the request is 0.6% larger than this year, at ¥4690.6 billion and includes, among other items, the cost of the site on Yonaguni Island, Okinawa, for stationing a Ground Self-Defense Force unit.

[...] [Note: extracted for repetition of above]

From these funds, as part of an effort to strengthen the defensive capabilities in the Nansei Islands, ¥1.5 billion has been requested to cover the costs of the site needed for stationing a GSDF Coastal Monitoring Unit (and other units) on Yonaguni Island, Okinawa. To cover the cost of four next-generation (F-X) fighters, to be determined this November, ¥55.1 billion was included, and to boost its ability to counter nuclear accidents, they have requested an increase in GSDF personnel by 109 people.

Minister for Defense Ichikawa stated, “In severe economic conditions, the SDF’s role is becoming increasingly important. While maintaining a tight budget, we would like to put the funds to use in a manner that serves the public confidence.”

Quite a few questions arise from this: one, what other units will be stationed at the base in Yonaguni? Two, was the F-35 cost the benchmark for the ¥55.1 billion set aside for the F-X purchases? And three, what shape will the increased nuclear response readiness take with those 109 people?


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A former contributor to World Intelligence (Japan Military Review), James Simpson joined Japan Security Watch in 2011, migrating with his blog Defending Japan. He has a Masters in Security Studies from Aberystwyth University and is currently living in Kawasaki, Japan. His primary interests include the so-called 'normalization' of Japanese security (i.e. militarization), and the political impact of the abduction issue with North Korea.
James Simpson has 254 post(s) on Japan Security Watch