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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 September 6 - 12  > Okinawa-elected opposition lawmakers urge gov’t to abandon plan to deploy SDF anti-ship missile unit to Uruma City
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2023 September 6 - 12 [SDF]

Okinawa-elected opposition lawmakers urge gov’t to abandon plan to deploy SDF anti-ship missile unit to Uruma City

September 7, 2023

A group of opposition party parliamentarians elected from Okinawa on September 6 visited the Defense Ministry and submitted a written request demanding that Defense Minister Hamada Yasukazu give up on the planned deployment of a Ground Self-Defense Force unit equipped with anti-ship missiles to GSDF Vice-Camp Katsuren in Okinawa’s Uruma City.

The written request also calls for the cancellation of the current plan to set up a regional headquarters at the Kasturen base to command all SDF anti-ship missile units to be deployed on the Nansei Islands, a chain of islands which includes Okinawa.

In the submission, Okinawa-elected opposition lawmakers including Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Akamine Seiken criticized the central government plan to deploy SDF missile units to the Nansei Islands for going back on its promise to reduce Okinawa’s base burdens. The opposition lawmakers’ group said that the central government move to strengthen the defense capacity of Okinawa is totally unacceptable as it means that Tokyo assumes a scenario in which Okinawa could once again become a forward operating base for war.

Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Defense Onoda Kimi in response said that the deployment of anti-ship missiles to and the establishment of the missile unit headquarters in Okinawa will serve as a deterrent and contribute to ensuring the safety of Okinawans as well as people in other prefectures.

After the submission at a press conference, JCP Akamine condemned Onoda for behaving arrogantly and showing reluctance to accept the Okinawa-elected lawmakers’ demands.

Past related article:
> Uruma citizens rally to scrap Tokyo’s plan to deploy anti-ship missiles to SDF base [June 5, 2023]
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