GSDF Combat Vehicle Runs in Okinawa amid Protests


Yonaguni, Okinawa Pref., Nov. 17 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force Type 16 maneuver combat vehicle was airlifted by an Air SDF transporter to the westernmost Japan island of Yonaguni in Okinawa Prefecture on Thursday, for the Keen Sword joint exercise between Japan and the United States.

After arriving on the island, the MCV was driven some 6 kilometers from the airport to Camp Yonaguni, becoming the first vehicle with a gun turret to run a public road in Okinawa since the end of World War II.

In Okinawa, when the U.S. military drives its vehicles, it removes or conceals equipped guns in consideration of local residents.

This time, however, the GSDF drove the MCV without hiding its gun turret in front of local residents displaying placards showing opposition to the joint exercise.

A U.S. military unit being deployed on Yonaguni is also unprecedented. The island is located only about 110 kilometers from Taiwan.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press