Japan Aiming to Buy Island for U.S. Military Training by March

Politics

Tokyo, Jan. 9 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government is planning to buy a southwestern island, regarded as a candidate U.S. military training site, from the landowner by the March end of this fiscal year, government sources said Wednesday.

According to the sources, the government is expected to acquire the island of Mageshima in Kagoshima Prefecture for some 16 billion yen. The island is a candidate site for relocating the field carrier landing practice, or FCLP, operations of U.S. carrier-borne aircraft, which will be implemented as part of a realignment plan for the U.S. military in Japan.

With a total area of around 8 square kilometers, the uninhabited island is located some 12 kilometers west of Tanegashima Island.

In 2011, the Japanese and U.S. governments agreed to consider moving the site for FCLP operations from Iwojima, formally Iwoto, a Pacific island belonging to Tokyo, to Mageshima. The agreement is in line with a decision to transfer U.S. carrier-based aircraft to the U.S. Marine Corps' Iwakuni base in the western Japan prefecture of Yamaguchi from the Atsugi base in Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo.

Following the agreement, the Japanese government started negotiations with the island's owner, a Tokyo-based land developer.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press