In response to China’s military advances, the Ministry of Defense is moving forward with a plan to station Ground Self-Defense Force units on the Nansei Islands off Kyushu. MOD will build new bases and expand old ones there to accommodate the SDF’s rapid response units.
The government began acquiring land on Amami Oshima back in 2015. A GSDF security unit and surface-to-air missile unit (350 members) will be stationed in Amami City to the north, and a surface-to-ship missile unit (200 members) will be deployed to Setouchi City to the south. The construction of the Yonakuni encampment on Yonakuni Island was completed in late March. A coast guard unit of 160 members is already stationed there.
MOD is also looking to station 700 to 800 GSDF personnel on Miyako Island and 500 to 600 on Ishigaki Island. These forces include security units, surface-to-air missile units, and surface-to-ship missile units. (Abridged)