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SECURITY > Okinawa

DM Onodera maintains Japan-U.S. joint use of bases necessary

  • November 18, 2017
  • , Ryukyu Shimpo , p. 2
  • JMH Translation

TOKYO – At a news conference held after the cabinet meeting on Nov. 17, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera commented on Okinawa Area Coordinator Lt. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson’s statement that a new amphibious unit — the “Japanese version of the Marines” — to be created in the Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) will be stationed at U.S. bases in Okinawa. Onodera maintained that for now, only two new regiments will be stationed in Aiura, Nagasaki Prefecture. Regarding the joint use of Camp Schwab and Camp Hansen by the U.S. forces and the SDF, he said: “This is not limited to Camp Schwab. Overall joint use is necessary.”

 

Onodera was asked several times about the effectiveness of stationing the new amphibious unit in Okinawa, but he merely said that, “Our initial goal is to make the amphibious unit in Aiura useful.”

 

With regard to the Okinawa Prefectural Government’s plan to revise environmental impact assessment ordinances that will apply to large-scale construction projects in the prefecture, Onodera indicated that the construction of the new military base in Henoko and the stationing of SDF units on the Sakishima Islands, which are likely to be affected, will go ahead as planned. (Abridged)

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