Japan to designate 16 airports, seaports for smooth use by SDF, JCG

The Japanese government plans to designate 16 airports and seaports across the country to enable them to be ready for use by the Self-Defense Forces and the Japan Coast Guard.

The government says it will allow SDF and JCG aircraft and ships to smoothly use them for drills and other purposes through the designation.

The move is part of efforts to enhance preparedness for contingencies and raise national defense capabilities.

After holding discussions with municipalities, the government has started the final arrangements to designate five airports and 11 seaports.

The airports are Naha Airport in the southern prefecture of Okinawa and the airports of Miyazaki, Nagasaki, Fukue and Kitakyushu in the southwestern region of Kyushu.

The seaports are Ishigaki Port in Okinawa, Hakata Port in Kyushu, the ports of Kochi, Susaki, Sukumo Bay and Takamatsu in the western region of Shikoku, and Muroran Port, Kushiro Port, Rumoi Port, Tomakomai Port and Ishikari Bay New Port in the northern prefecture of Hokkaido.

The government says it plans to improve the functions of those facilities, including extending runways and expanding wharfs, if necessary. It says the private sector will remain the main user of those facilities.

The government is expected to hold a meeting of relevant Cabinet ministers at an early date to make an official decision on the plan.