Director General Yasunori Nishida of the Defense Ministry’s Bureau of Defense Buildup Planning stated at the House of Representatives Committee on Security on Dec. 5 that the Japanese side will bear 2.2 billion yen of the cost of rebuilding four ammunition magazines adjacent to Camp Schwab in Henoko, Nago City, a project that was agreed upon at the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee. He said the start date for the construction work has not yet been decided. He provided this information in response to a question from the Social Democratic Party’s Kantoku Teruya.
This project was included in a U.S. Marine internal document on redevelopment in conjunction with the construction of the new military base in Henoko.
Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera indicated that this is part of the construction work under “necessary adjustments in line with the realignment of facilities on Camp Schwab and adjacent sea areas” agreed upon in the 2006 road map for U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) realignment.
Teruya pointed out that “Camp Schwab and the ammunition depot are separate facilities even in terms of U.S. military facility numbers.” He voiced the criticism that rebuilding the ammunition magazines is not included under “Camp Schwab facilities” in the road map and differs from what was agreed upon.
The Japan-U.S. Joint Committee also approved the relocation of the “storeroom” on Kadena Air Base at the location where the U.S. Navy’s aircraft apron will be moved to the Kadena Ammunition Storage Area. Director General Nobuaki Miyama of the Bureau of Local Cooperation explained that the storeroom will be used for “storing ammunition to be carried by aircraft.”
Onodera denied rumors that a third amphibious rapid response regiment that the Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) is planning to establish will be stationed at Camp Hansen. In response to a question from the Party of Hope’s Kazunori Inoue, he said: “The third regiment is a subject for study based on the discussions on the next Mid-Term Defense Buildup Program.” He also indicated, “We will conduct a comprehensive study on this issue in terms of consistency with the GSDF and its mission, acquisition of land, and relation to the local communities.”