TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The government will build a new Self-Defense Forces hospital next to the Air Self-Defense Force’s Iruma base in Saitama Prefecture in fiscal 2021, informed sources have said.
Of the 16 existing SDF hospitals in the country, the government will reduce the roles of the facilities in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture and Kakamigahara, Gifu Prefecture, and instead integrate the function of treating patients with severe illness or injuries into the planned hospital, the sources said.
In the event of natural disasters and other emergencies, the new hospital will accept not only people related to the SDF but also ordinary people.
The three-story hospital, to be constructed on part of a 28-hectare site adjacent to the Iruma base in the city of Sayama, Saitama Prefecture, will have a total floor space of 18,000 square meters and 60 beds, according to the sources.
The government is set to earmark ¥5.4 billion to cover related costs under its fiscal 2018 budget.
The government assumes that SDF members in severe condition will be transported to the new hospital from various locations by SDF aircraft.
It plans to use the 28-hectare site as a base for the SDF’s relief activities in case of large-scale disasters, such as a powerful earthquake that may strike directly beneath the Tokyo metropolitan area.
On top of the hospital, other facilities will be constructed on the site so that relief teams and supplies will be accepted from around the country.
In a report compiled in 2013, the government estimated that about 23,000 people would be killed if a 7.0-magnitude earthquake occurs directly under the metropolitan area.