Japan GSDF Vehicles Arrive at New Okinawa Camp

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A Self-Defense Forces vehicle arrives on Sunday morning at a facility that will be the Ground Self-Defense Force’s Ishigaki Camp in Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture.

NAHA — Dozens of vehicles began entering a facility on Okinawa Prefecture’s Ishigaki Island, ahead of its opening as a Ground Self-Defense Force camp later this month.

At about 7:40 a.m. Sunday, vehicles that had been unloaded at Ishigaki Port headed via public roads to the facility in Ishigaki City, about 10 kilometers away. About 30 people, mainly local residents, gathered near the port to protest the deployment of the Self-Defense Forces. Riot police belonging to the Okinawa prefectural police guarded the area.

The camp will host a unit to guard the area and a missile company, and be equipped with type 12 surface-to-ship missiles and type 03 medium-range surface-to-air missiles.

The Defense Ministry has seting up GSDF camps to strengthen the defense system of the Nansei Islands. It established a camp on Yonaguni Island in 2016, and one each on Miyako Island and Kagoshima Prefecture’s Amami Oshima Island in 2019. The Ishigaki Camp is the final such facility.