Japanese govt. designates 16 airports, seaports for smooth use by SDF, JCG

The Japanese government has designated 16 airports and seaports across the country to facilitate their use by the Self-Defense Forces and the Japan Coast Guard.

The government has been discussing with local authorities which facilities it should designate as part of its efforts to enhance preparedness for contingencies and raise national defense capabilities.

The designation was approved on Monday by relevant Cabinet members.

Functions of five airports and 11 seaports are to be improved for the purpose. The government says SDF and JCG aircraft and ships are allowed to smoothly use the facilities for drills and other purposes.

The airports are: Naha Airport in the southern prefecture of Okinawa and those 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 improving the facilities includes extending runways and expanding wharfs, if necessary. It also says the private sector will remain the main user of the facilities.

The government plans to make further arrangements with local authorities to increase the number of such designated facilities.