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Japan wants to enhance civilian air hubs and seaports for ‘contingency’. Are these also for the US military?

They also point out such facilities would no doubt be made available to the US military if a security crisis erupts.

Most of the facilities that have been earmarked for dual use are in the southwest of Japan and include airports in Naha, Nagasaki, Miyazaki, Fukue and Kitakyushu, which serves Fukuoka.


Japan’s military holds drill on island potentially vulnerable to China

“Efforts need to be made to enhance the presence and capabilities of the Self-Defence Forces in the southwest of Japan to deal with possible contingencies involving Taiwan and other areas,” said Masafumi Iida, a leading China analyst at the National Institute of Defence Studies in Tokyo.

“At the moment, there is a lack of the military infrastructure that is needed, and the plan is to use existing infrastructure and make it dual civilian-military use,” he told This Week in Asia.

A shortage of air facilities is a critical concern across the islands of Okinawa prefecture, including in the most westerly island of Yonaguni. The existing airfields would be susceptible to missile attacks, Iida said, and defences would need to be introduced.

There is also a need to construct accommodation for more personnel, hardened shelters for command-and-control functions and aircraft when they are on the ground, as well as storage for additional fuel supplies and weapons.

Runways will need to be extended and potentially widened, and care must be taken to ensure that such surfaces are suitable for fighter jets to operate from.

Daito Bunka University’s Mulloy agrees that facilities for aircraft are relatively rudimentary in the region at present and will need to be comprehensively improved, including the provision of local air traffic control, additional military-grade radar and