TOKYO, January 12 – Japan’s Kyodo News reported that the construction of the main facilities for the Japan Self-Defense Forces base, which will also be used for US Navy flight exercises, began Thursday on the uninhabited island of Mage in Japan’s Kagoshima Prefecture. Citing data from the country’s defense ministry.
Earlier on Thursday, the Japanese government released a 40-page report assessing the impact of base construction on the island’s environment, as well as a list of measures it is expected to take as part of minimizing environmental damage.
In particular, it was noted that during the construction period, which, according to various estimates, will take about four years, measures will be taken to transfer a number of rare species of amphibians, reptiles and fish to an area with similar conditions that will not be affected by construction work. It is also planned to limit the number of ships entering the island’s waters and introduce artificial lighting control in the construction area. In addition, barrier fences will be erected in the work area to prevent accidental killing of hermit crabs.
An airstrip and other facilities around the airport are expected to be built on the island within the first two years. In addition to self-defense forces, they will also be used in exercises by US Navy carrier aircraft stationed in Japan.
Maji Island, with an area of about eight square kilometers, is located in Kagoshima Prefecture, 400 kilometers from the US Naval Air Base Iwakuni. An agreement was reached in 2019 between the Japanese government and Tokyo-based Taston Airport to acquire an island in the southwest of the country for 16 billion yen (about $146 million at the exchange rate at the time).