Local News

Government to Beef up Kyushu’s Defenses

The Ministry of Defense has solidified plans to include an increase in Ground Self-Defense Force deployments to Kyushu in next year’s National Defense Program Guidelines in light of potential situations around the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture. There are currently 27,600 GSDF soldiers stationed in Kyushu, but the plan calls for an increase to “around 40,000 to 50,000” soldiers in the event of an emergency situation involving the Korean Peninsula or the Senkaku Islands. The new Guidelines also include the establishment of a new amphibious unit centered on the existing Sasebo-based Western Army Infantry Regiment, which is in charge of defending outlying islands, and it is highly likely this new unit will be stationed in Kyushu. The government says it will gradually transfer some of the 86,400 GSDF troops in Honshu to the 15 divisions and brigades currently in Kyushu and define half of these as mobile units in order to “build up the defenses of the Nansei Islands”. In addition to the new amphibious unit, the budget for fiscal 2014 calls for the purchase of two amphibious vehicles and a study on the adoption of high altitude unmanned aerial vehicles. Source: Nishinippon Shimbun 11/22

Published: Nov 22, 2013 / Last Updated: Apr 1, 2016

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