Japan has chosen 33 airports and ports as candidates for improvement to enhance military capabilities, with a particular focus on infrastructure that could be utilized in a Taiwan emergency, according to a recent report in Japan’s Nikkei Shimbun.
Citing the Japanese government’s fiscal budget proposal for next year, the newspaper said Toyko is to name some facilities as essential bases and receive funding for upgrades in line with the revamped national security strategy published last year.
According to an unofficial policy document drafted last month and reviewed by the Nikkei, the Japanese government designated 14 airports and 19 ports for improvement, including 16 facilities in the Ryukyu Islands encompassing Okinawa, as well as Kyushu and Shikoku.
The selection of the sites suggests a concern with areas near China, a country of surging military capabilities that analysts say could become the focal point of a major conflict in Asia, it said.
New Ishigaki, Miyako and Naha in Okinawa, Kagoshima and Miyazaki in Kyushu, and Kochi in Shikoku are among the airports listed in the government’s plan, the Nikkei said.
These airports could be used as bases for the Japan Self-Defense Forces to deploy troops and supply Taiwan with fuel and food in case of a contingency, the newspaper said.
Yonaguni, New Ishigaki and Miyako airports with their 2,000m-long runways are difficult places to take off or land for heavy military transport aircraft including Japan’s Kawasaki C-2, capable of moving 100 people, it said.
The capability to accommodate heavy cargo planes would enable the evacuation of local residents if necessary, the newspaper said.
Other airports are being considered for runway extensions and installation of a variety of improvements encompassing new parking lots, taxiways and hangars that would allow their utilization by the Japan Self-Defense Forces and Coast Guard, according to the Nikkei.
A civilian runway of 2,500m or more that is easy to use for defense purposes is a security asset for Japan, a senior Japan Self-Defense Force official was quoted as saying.
Japan is eyeing Yonaguni Island for a new port capable of accommodating escort and patrol vessels, while the docks at Ishigaki, Hirara and Naha ports in Okinawa, Kumamoto port and Hakata port in Fukuoka are to be overhauled, Nikkei said.
Facilities in Hokkaido and Fukui prefectures, which respectively have to deal with Russian and North Korean threats, are also to be upgraded, the Nikkei said.
The list of airports and ports to receive improvements is classified and its content is subject to change, it said.
Japan has begun briefing local officials on its plans and ranking members of the government already visited Miyako over the matter of refurbishing Miyako Airport and the Port of Hirara, Nikkei said.
SAFETY IN REGULATION: The proposal states that Chiayi should assess whether it is viable to establish such a district and draft rules to protect clients and sex workers The Chiayi City Council passed a motion yesterday to assess the viability of establishing a regulated red-light district. The council yesterday held its last session of the year, at which its fiscal 2024 budget was approved, along with 61 other proposals. The proposal to assess the viability of establishing a red-light district was put forward by independent Chiayi City Councilor Molly Yen (顏色不分藍綠支持性專區顏色田慎節). The proposal cited 2011 amendments to the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), which stipulate that city and county governments can pass autonomous regulations on the sex trade to manage the industry and guarantee industry workers’ rights. A ban on the
STABILITY AND CHANGE: Flagging in recent polls, Ko this week pledged to maintain President Tsai’s foreign policy, with an emphasis on improving China relations Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday reiterated that he is “deep-green at heart” in response to accusations that he is pivoting his campaign to align closer with the ideology of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the face of flagging polls. Ko made the remark at an agricultural policy conference in Taipei, repeating his comments from an interview with CTS News a day earlier. Ko told the CTS host that he would continue to pursue President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) national defense and foreign policy in general, but with an emphasis on establishing a rapport with
CHINA illness surge: Of 88 travelers from China, Hong Kong and Macau with respiratory symptoms who were encouraged to get tested upon arrival, 70.6% had the flu Two hundred and sixty people with COVID-19 were hospitalized and 31 deaths related to the virus were reported last week — the highest numbers in four weeks, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday, adding that cases are expected to peak next month. CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said that of the 260 people hospitalized last week with moderate to severe COVID-19, 98 percent had not received the Omicron XBB.1.5-adapted COVID-19 vaccine. Among the people hospitalized this year, 78 percent were aged 65 or older, while most of the those who were hospitalized or died have or had
Taiwanese who have recently traveled to China for tourism, to visit friends or relatives or for business reasons have been interrogated, detained and faced other forms of unreasonable treatment from Chinese officials, a source said on Sunday. Among them was a Taiwanese who was detained for eight hours at an airport in China due to their research, which is related to religion, while others have had their travel documents for China canceled for a number of reasons, the source said. In July, China expanded the scope of its counterespionage law, and recently announced a draft amendment to the law on the protection