Aerial view of Mage Island

Japan bought an island for American carrier-based aviation exercises


The Japanese Ministry of Defense has agreed to purchase the uninhabited Mage Island for 16 billion yen (almost $ 146 million) in Kagoshima Prefecture in the south-west of the country, where an object will be built to conduct massive exercises for deck aircraft from U.S. Navy aircraft carriers.  This was officially announced on Monday at a press conference in Tokyo by Secretary General of the Cabinet of Ministers Yoshihide Suga.

“The creation of such a permanent facility is very important from a security point of view,” he said. “I would like to proceed with its equipment soon.”

An agreement to acquire the island was reached with a private company from Tokyo, which owns the land there.

Aviation exercises, during which takeoffs and landings of aircraft onto the deck of aircraft carriers are being practiced, are accompanied by great noise and invariably cause protests in Japan and local governments.  Because of this, they were transferred to the almost deserted remote island of Iwo Jima.  However, it is located too far – more than 1200 km from Tokyo.

As a result, back in 2011, the military of the two countries decided to work out the issue of placing a training ground for such training on the island of Mage.  It is located just 400 km from the US Marine Corps Ivakuni Air Base in the southeast of the main Japanese island of Honshu, where about 60 American carrier-based aircraft are now relocated.

On the island of Mage, an area of ​​8 square meters.  km is supposed to build an airfield and other objects of the Japanese Armed Forces.  Subsequently, they will be used in conjunction with American aviation, primarily with the US Navy aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan.

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