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SECURITY > Okinawa

Construction of GSDF base in Ishigaki to start around February 2019

  • November 3, 2018
  • , Yomiuri , p. 4
  • JMH Translation

The Defense Ministry’s Okinawa Defense Bureau issued a notice on Nov. 2 inviting bids for the land preparation work for the Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) base on Ishigaki Island (Ishigaki City, Okinawa), stating that the project is to start “around February 2019.”

 

If construction work starts in April 2019 or later, this project will be covered by Okinawa’s revised ordinance on environmental impact assessment, so the Defense Ministry wants to start within the current fiscal year.

 

The GSDF’s deployment to Ishigaki Island is for the purpose of reinforcing the defense of the Nansei Islands. The new base with an area of about 47 hectares will house some 500 to 600 GSDF members of the security forces and the surface-to-ship and surface-to-air missile units tasked with making an initial response if remote islands are attacked. Ishigaki Mayor Yoshitaka Nakayama accepted the deployment last July.

 

The Okinawa government’s revised ordinance on environmental impact assessment that took effect from October expands the scope of the requirement for assessment, which used to be limited to golf courses and airfields, to any project of over 20 hectares in area that involves land preparation. As a transitional measure, the new requirement will not apply to projects starting in the current fiscal year.

 

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