It was learned on Jan. 10 that Parliamentary Vice Minister of Defense Tatsuo Fukuda will visit the island of Miyakojima (in Miyakojima City, Okinawa) on Jan. 17 in connection with the plan to deploy Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) security and missile units there. He will convey to Mayor Toshihiko Shimoji the plan to build ammo depots, firing ranges, and other related facilities at a quarry in the city. The plan is to complete the construction of the facilities in FY20, but the Okinawa Prefectural Government is studying stricter regulations on environmental impact assessments relating to the construction work, so the plan may be delayed.
The Defense Ministry has chosen the quarry in the eastern part of the island as the site for the GSDF facilities, so it is consulting with the city government on this plan. It will also make earnest efforts to negotiate with the quarry’s owners. (Abridged)