TOKYO: Japan said Monday (Nov 2) it had agreed to buy an uninhabited island off its southwest coast for US$146 million, eyeing it for US military drills.
Tokyo and Washington agreed in 2011 to relocate a training site for US fighter jets to Mageshima island, around 30 km off the southwestern Japanese coast.
Japan's chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said an agreement to purchase Mageshima was reached on Friday "after discussions between the defence ministry and the developer who owns the majority of the island".
American flight training operations are currently conducted at Iwo Jima, some 1,200 km south of Tokyo.
Washington had requested a move, saying Iwo Jima – a key World War II battlefield – was too far away from an American military base in the western Japanese city of Iwakuni, where their fighters are stationed.
Suga said a facility would be built on the island for landing practice "at an early date", adding that he could not reveal further details as the acquisition was not complete.
Japan's military has long been restricted to selfRead More – Source