The Ministry of Defense is considering deploying the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF)’s missile companies to Ishigaki-jima Island. This was revealed to the Ryukyu Shimpo by anonymous sources on May 11 .
Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Defense Akira Sato asked Ishigaki City Mayor Yoshitaka Nakayama to cooperate with the deployment of the JGSDF’ security unit, at a meeting held on May 11 in Ishigaki City. However, the plan to deploy the missile companies as well as the security unit was not disclosed at the meeting.
The companies have the same operational mission for surface-to-ship missile and surface-to-air missile as those the ministry has decided to send to Miyako-jima Island. The two missile companies consist of about 120 members. The deployment to Ishigaki-jima will be a total of 550 personnel, including about 350 personnel belonging to the security unit. The ministry plans to send about 750 personnel to Miyako-jima.
The missile companies on Ishigaki and Amami Oshima Island will be placed under the command of JGSDF’s Antiaircraft Artillery Group, which will be set up on Miyako-jima. The ministry will select one of seven candidate sites on Ishigaki-jima.
Regarding the security force deployment, Mayor Nakayama said; “I will cooperate with the central government because it has exclusive authority regarding national defense and security policy.”