Japan to build 10 large ammunition depots at Self-Defense Forces facilities in 2023

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Japan to build 10 large ammunition depots at Self-Defense Forces facilities in 2023

A Defense Ministry source said that the defense ministry plans to build about 10 large ammunition depots at Self-Defense Forces facilities in fiscal 2023, including ones in Oita and Aomori prefectures.

These facilities are intended to hold standoff missiles, which are expected to play a key role in maintaining the country s envisaged counterattack capability.

The ministry plans to complete arrangements for conventional ammunition to be stored in locations dispersed across the country, including in the Nansei Islands, which will strengthen the ability to sustain military operations.

Four of the 10 large new ammunition depots will be built at the Ground Self-Defense Force's Vice-Camp Oita in Oita City and the Maritime Self-Defense Force s Headquarters Ominato District in Mutsu, Aomori Prefecture.

The ministry plans to build six or more new large depots at other GSDF and MSDF facilities.

These facilities will serve as bases for the SDF's mobile deployment capabilities, and will also serve as bases for transporting missiles to the front lines in the event of an emergency. The government has allocated about 5.8 billion dollars in its budget plan for fiscal 2023 for the construction of these facilities.

The ministry plans to build approximately 130 large ammunition storage facilities across the country by fiscal 2035, with the 10 depots being the first step of the overall plan.

The missiles to be stored are long-range missiles that can be launched from outside the range of an adversary, including an improved version of the GSDF s Type 12 surface-to- ship missile and high-speed glide bombs that are intended for the defense of remote islands, which will be deployed to its units as early as in fiscal 2026. The ministry plans to store the Tomahawk cruise missiles, which are made by the U.S.

The ministry will increase the amount of conventional ammunition, other than large-size ones, and promote the dispersed storage of ammunition by developing depots in the Nansei Islands region.

There are approximately 1,400 ammunition depots across Japan, but they are considered to be disproportionately located in Hokkaido.

Within fiscal 2023 the ministry will start building new ammunition depots at the Vice-Camp Setouchi in Setouchi, Kagoshima Prefecture and the Bora Training Area in Miyakojima, Okinawa Prefecture.

It plans to develop related facilities at the MSDF's Headquarters Yokosuka District in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, and the Headquarters Maizuru District in Maizuru, Kyoto Prefecture. The ministry intends to coordinate with local governments and explain its plans to the communities concerned because of the importance of local understanding for the construction of ammunition storage facilities.

As Russia's invasion of Ukraine highlighted the importance of a country having the ability to sustain military capabilities, the government made clear in the National Security Strategy adopted last December that it intends to give top priority to securing supplies of ammunition.