Kagoshima, July 19 (Jiji Press)–Kagoshima Governor Koichi Shiota gave the nod Tuesday to the temporary deployment of eight U.S. spy drones to a Maritime Self-Defense Force base in the southwestern Japan prefecture.
The acceptance of the plan to deploy the MQ-9 reconnaissance drones to the MSDF base in Kanoya “is inevitable” because the city’s assembly has already approved the one-year measure to chiefly enhance the surveillance of Chinese warships, Shiota told a press conference.
They would be the first U.S. unmanned aircraft to be stationed at an SDF base.
For the operation of the drones, expected to start in September, around 200 U.S. military personnel will stay in the city.
At the news conference, Shiota also said the Defense Ministry, citing an agreement with the United States, ruled out the possibility of the aircraft remaining at the base beyond the one-year mark.
“I have no choice but to believe that,” he added.