Tuesday, April 16, 2024

World

Japan govt designates 5 airports, 11 seaports to upgrade for possible defence use

IANS | April 02, 2024 10:34 AM

TOKYO: The Japanese government has designated five airports and 11 seaports to be upgraded for possible use by the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) and the Japan Coast Guard, local media reported.

The plan was approved by related government ministers and starts in the current fiscal year through next March, with a 37 billion yen ($244 million) budget earmarked for the first year, Kyodo News reported on Monday, citing the Cabinet Secretariat.

Under the scheme, the designated airports will have runways extended and aprons widened to make them more suitable for fighter jets and SDF transport aircraft, while deeper and well-equipped docks will be constructed in ports so that they can host destroyers and other large ships, the report said.

Local governments that manage these facilities are expected to sign documents with the Central government to specify that the SDF and the Japan Coast Guard will utilise them in daily operations and emergencies, it added as quoted by Xinhua news agency report.

The government said the private sector will remain the main user of the facilities, according to Kyodo News.

The five airports are in the three southwestern Kyushu prefectures of Fukuoka, Nagasaki and Miyazaki, as well as in the southernmost prefecture of Okinawa, home to the bulk of US forces Japan hosts.

Among the 11 seaports, five are in Hokkaido, the northern main island, while four are in Kagawa and Kochi prefectures on the western main island of Shikoku, with one each in Fukuoka and Okinawa prefectures.

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