Japan Boosts Presence in East China Sea with New GSDF Garrison on Ishigaki Island

On Thursday, Japan's Defense Ministry set up a Ground Self-Defense Force camp on Ishigaki Island in the prefecture of Okinawa, to which around 570 personnel, including missile units, have been deployed.[0] This move comes amidst increasing security concerns in the East China Sea region and is part of Japan's effort to bolster the construction of military bases in Okinawa.[1]

The personnel stationed at the newly built garrison will be armed with Type-12 surface-to-ship and Type-03 medium-range surface-to-air guided missiles, with the latter to be stored in the ammunition facilities on the base.[2] Ishigaki is a popular holiday destination among scuba divers, located just 200 kilometers south of the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands, an uninhabited island chain also claimed by China and Taiwan.[1]

The presence of the GSDF garrison on Ishigaki island is part of Japan's efforts to bolster its security in the region.[3] It is hoped that the increased military presence in the area will deter any potential conflicts, and help maintain peace and stability in the region.

0. “Japan moves missile capable troops into remote island base as regional tensions rise” News8000.com – WKBT, 17 Mar. 2023, https://www.news8000.com/news/national-world/japan-moves-missile-capable-troops-into-remote-island-base-as-regional-tensions-rise/article_ce4ad6e6-3bf0-5af2-8d69-f0a6fc1f1aae.html

1. “World News | Amid Security Concerns, Japan Deploys Troops on Remote Islands Near China, Taiwan” LatestLY, 18 Mar. 2023, https://www.latestly.com/agency-news/world-news-amid-security-concerns-japan-deploys-troops-on-remote-islands-near-china-taiwan-4962489.html

2. “Japanese missile base to open for business this week on island near Taiwan” Stars and Stripes, 14 Mar. 2023, https://www.stripes.com/theaters/asia_pacific/2023-03-14/japan-new-missile-base-taiwan-9488188.html

3. “GSDF Camp Set Up on Japan's Ishigaki Remote Island” Nippon.com, 16 Mar. 2023, https://www.nippon.com/en/news/yjj2023031601028/

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