Taiwan Conflict

Japan Builds Underground Shelters in Okinawa Amid Growing Concerns Over a Potential Taiwan Crisis

Main image to the post Japan Builds Underground Shelters in Okinawa Amid Growing Concerns Over a Potential Taiwan Crisis

The Japanese government has unveiled guidelines for constructing underground shelters on remote islands in Okinawa Prefecture, a move prompted by the shift in defense strategy that has seen the deployment of anti-aircraft and surface-to-ship missile systems to the Nansei island chain.

Ishigaki, Miyakojima, Yonaguni, Taketomi, and Tarama. These islands are located far from the mainland, with evacuation only possible by air or sea. The shelters will provide refuge for those unable to evacuate in the event of a military conflict.

The central government will provide financial support for the construction of the shelters, which will be integrated into public facilities. The shelters will feature steel-reinforced concrete walls and store sufficient food and water to sustain evacuees for at least two weeks. Each evacuee will have approximately two square meters of floor space.

The shelter plan follows the establishment of Ground Self-Defense Force bases on Yonaguni, Miyako, and Ishigaki islands since 2016. While the government's plan has been welcomed by some experts, concerns remain among Okinawa residents, who fear becoming targets in the event of a conflict. Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki has urged the government to prioritize diplomatic efforts for peace, citing the devastating loss of civilian lives during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09