Japan Drops Plan to Build New Training Base in Okinawa

On April 11th, the Japanese government said that they would drop plans to construct a new Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) training base at the original site on Okinawa. The country’s Defense Ministry said it gave up on the planned facility due to “concerns of nearby residents” since the site is located next to a residential area.

The ministry said the planned training site was located at a former golf course in Uruma City, which is close to the JGSDF Vice Camp Katsuren.

However, Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki, Uruma Mayor Masato Nakamura, and several local residents opposed the planned base “who feared that the adverse impact on their living environment.”

Japanese Defense Minister Minoru Kihara said that “the ministry found that the current candidate site is ‘impossible’ to fully satisfy the conditions for conducting GSDF exercises while also not disrupting the lives of the residents.” The minister said they will continue to look at alternative sites in Okinawa Prefecture.

The ministry planned to begin construction of the new site in 2026, with the site slated to be completed when the Okinawa-based 15th Brigade is upgraded to a division by March 2028.